Cell fusion or destruction using nanoparticles and laser

Prof. Dvir Yelin | Biomedical Engineering


Medical Devices | Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

The Technology

The present technology involves the use of nanoparticles and laser light to manipulate selected cells for cancer therapy, tissue regeneration and drug production.

The invention describes a method for specific cell manipulation. Gold nanoparticles are coated by a layer of molecules that have high affinity to the desired target on the cells. After delivery of the nanoparticles to their targets, the cells or tissue are illuminated by ultrashort laser pulses, generating intense physical interactions that locally disrupt the surrounding biological medium. Under specific parameters, the resulting outcomes of these interactions include various forms of cell death (necrosis, apoptosis, cell senescence), cell-cell fusion, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the cells, and local release of drug molecules for a potential therapeutic effect.

A desired effect on the cells or tissue may be tuned by controlling various parameters, including illumination intensity, number of pulses and pulse duration, as well as nanoparticle concentration, particle shape, and molecular affinity to the target tissue. This wide selection of parameters stem from the relative complexity of the physical pulse-particles interaction, which simultaneously include particle expansion, particle melting, vaporization, generation of a shock wave, formation of a transient cavitation bubble, and photoionization that releases highly interacting free electrons.


  • Localized effects
  • Low toxicity of the laser light and the nanoparticles
  • Specificity determined by both illumination spot and nanoparticle distribution
  • Wide range of possible physical interactions and possible effects on the cells

Applications and Opportunities

  • Cancer therapy, including immunotherapy
  • Tissue regeneration
  • Muscle cell fusion and cosmetics
  • Drug production
  • Monoclonal antibody generation
arrow Business Development Contacts
Motti Koren
Director of Business Development, Life Sciences