Medical diagnostics and therapy


Cancer is nowadays among the main causes of human death, and the availability of diagnostic techniques, to detect its presence from the earliest stages of onset, together with treatment protocols, acting directly on the lesion with reduced impact on the surrounding healthy tissue, is at the base of both a reduction in the mortality rate and the improvement in the quality of life of patients. The importance of early diagnosis and effective clinical treatment, with reduced side effects, drives the search towards new and more efficient strategies. In this context, the IREA researchers, taking advantages of their expertise in both engineering and biology, are investigating the feasibility of new technologies based on the combined use of electromagnetic fields at microwave frequencies and nanoparticles. The latter are used as contrast agents that, by selectively binding to cancer cells, on one hand increase the detection and the other facilitate the localization of the therapeutic treatment.
In particular, research activity, carried out at IREA, is aimed to address two fundamental and complementary aspects. The first one is the study of interactions among biological systems, microwave signals and nanoparticles in order to define the procedures to maximize cooperative aspects, reducing at the same time the risk of toxicity, due to the use of nanoparticles. The second is aimed at the modeling of such interactions and at simulating of the reference electromagnetic scenario with the objective of outlining new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies capable of substantially improving the already existing technologies.