Engineering with Computers

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 3–13 | Cite as

Nanoshell-mediated laser surgery simulation for prostate cancer treatment

  • Yusheng Feng
  • David Fuentes
  • Andrea Hawkins
  • Jon Bass
  • Marissa Nichole Rylander
  • Andrew Elliott
  • Anil Shetty
  • R. Jason Stafford
  • J. Tinsley Oden
Original Article


Laser surgery, or laser-induced thermal therapy, is a minimally invasive alternative or adjuvant to surgical resection in treating tumors embedded in vital organs with poorly defined boundaries. Its use, however, is limited due to the lack of precise control of heating and slow rate of thermal diffusion in the tissue. Nanoparticles, such as nanoshells, can act as intense heat absorbers when they are injected into tumors. These nanoshells can enhance thermal energy deposition into target regions to improve the ability for destroying larger cancerous tissue volumes with lower thermal doses. The goal of this paper is to present an integrated computer model using a so-called nested-block optimization algorithm to simulate laser surgery and provide transient temperature field predictions. In particular, this algorithm aims to capture changes in optical and thermal properties due to nanoshell inclusion and tissue property variation during laser surgery. Numerical results show that this model is able to characterize variation of tissue properties for laser surgical procedures and predict transient temperature fields comparable to those measured by in vivo magnetic resonance temperature imaging techniques. Note that the computational approach presented in the study is quite general and can be applied to other types of nanoparticle inclusions.


Laser-induced thermal therapy Nanoparticles Prostate cancer Laser-tissue interaction Bioheat transfer Finite element method 



The support of this work by the National Science Foundation under grant CNS-0540033 and by National Institutes of Health under Small Animal Imaging Facility core grant CA 16672 are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yusheng Feng
    • 1
  • David Fuentes
    • 2
  • Andrea Hawkins
    • 2
  • Jon Bass
    • 2
  • Marissa Nichole Rylander
    • 3
  • Andrew Elliott
    • 4
  • Anil Shetty
    • 4
  • R. Jason Stafford
    • 4
  • J. Tinsley Oden
    • 2
  1. 1.Computational Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Lab, Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Computational Engineering and SciencesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering and SciencesVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of Imaging PhysicsThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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