This interactive component is about cutting-edge medical treatments that are being developed with nanotechnology. Gold Nanoshells, demonstrates how tiny nanoparticles of gold are being used to destroy cancerous tumors. Visitors inject gold nanoshell marbles into the bloodstream and watch as the gold nanoshells are absorbed by cancerous cells. The visitor then activates an infrared laser and watches as the laser heats up and kills the tumor cells while leaving the healthy tissues unharmed.
"Treating Tumors with Gold" presents promising research being conducted at Rice University in Texas. Through videos and demonstrations, the program considers the following questions: What is a tumor and what causes it to spread? What is a gold nanoshell and how does it kill tumor cells? What does the future hold for targeted cancer therapies?
In the Nanomedicine exhibition, four individual exhibit components highlight nanotechnology’s vast potential for diagnosing and treating disease, as well as its ability to help damaged tissue regrow. Test for thousands of diseases with a single nano-based chip, target tumor cells for treatment with nanoparticles in a tabletop game, and regrow severed nerve endings on nanoscale scaffolding. These exhibits were developed by the NISE Network; copies are located at the Museum of Science in Boston, OMSI in Oregon, and the Arkansas Discovery Network.