Electromechanical Dynamics of Gold Nanodumbbells

E. Podoly
Stanford University, US

Keywords: thermogenetics, heat, electromagnetic radiation

Summary:

We have designed thermogenetic materials that utilize the high capacity of gold nanoparticles to transform electromagnetic radiation into heat, which is discharged to the surroundings. The designed materials, gold nano-dumbbells, are electro-mechanical resonators with narrow absorption bands. The unique gold nano-dumbbells features make it potentially suited for control of neural activity downstream of increases in temperature: The strong absorption at low frequencies allows deep tissue penetration and heating of the gold nano-dumbbells rather the biological environment. When combined with an ultra-short pulse of energy, a time-controlled response of gold nano-dumbbells may allow local heating of the targeted channels. The hope is that this tool will reveal how specific neurons direct behaviors and that it will revolutionize current clinical treatment of neurological disorders.