Exploring the possibility of gold nanorods for more specific anti-cancer therapy in a city where he felt at home, Nick Diamantoni built connections with Madrid in many ways he never imagined
Mechanical Engineering major Nick Diamantoni analyzes the acoustic waves of gold nanorods when excited by a fiber optic laser

Gold nanorods

In the Center for Biomedical Technology in Madrid, MIT junior Nick Diamantoni researched the properties of gold nanorods using amplification circuits and fiber optic lasers. The goal of his work was to contribute to current knowledge of these nanoparticles so that they may be used in the future for optical hyperthermia. Optical hyperthermia would advance current anti-cancer therapy methods due to its ability to localize the killing of cancerous cells.

Nick designed amplification circuits that could be used to visually see the waveform of gold nanorods. He utilized extremely sensitive sensors to pick up the acoustic waves of the gold nanorods when they were hit with a fiber optic laser. Nick had to overcome difficulties with noise in the signal, but he was able to draw conclusions about the trends and effectiveness of certain laser configurations.

At the end of his internship, Nick gave a presentation to researchers in the lab on his discoveries on the properties of the gold nanorods. Nick advanced the previous studies done in the laboratory on the gold nanorods and offered ideas for future experiments to further our understanding. 

Nick had the opportunity to experience cutting-edge research in the field of biomedical technology. Nick could not have asked for a better exposure to this field of study, which is what Nick hopes to explore even more after MIT. He came prepared for the internship having read many papers on gold nanorods and the possibility of use in a new method of anti-cancer therapy. Even with preparation, Nick was surprised to have to face challenges in the variability of the signals and the noise that obscured the data. “I would have never guessed how methodical I needed to be in my experiments because slight variations in my procedure would dramatically affect the results of my experiments. I was always so excited whenever the results fit the expected trends that I would stay until the last bus would leave to take me home.”  More attention has been given to gold nanorods as an improved method for anti-cancer therapy in recent years, and Nick could see why at the end of his internship this summer. He is thrilled to see how further investigation into this topic transpires because he sees this as such an amazing opportunity that could challenge current methods of anti-cancer therapy in the coming years.

  • Spain
  • Internship
  • MechE