Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Targeted Nanoparticles for Laser Induced Breakdown

Technology #2393

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Theodore B. Norris
Managed By
Janani Ramaswamy
Licensing Specialist, Medical Deviceses 734-763-9081
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending


Much effort has been devoted to research on laser-induced breakdown (LIB) since the advent of powerful lasers, because of the importance of LIB in diverse fields including laser surgery and micromachining. So far, much less attention has been paid to altering the breakdown threshold of the materials themselves and achieving a controllable breakdown by modifying the material. LIB in well-designed materials has a wide range of potential applications.


University of Michigan researchers have discovered that dendrimer-based nanoparticles conjugated to linker molecules can be used to selectively deliver the nanoparticles to targeted components in biological systems, and the use of metal nanoparticles or metallic nanocomposites can significantly reduce LIB thresholds, which enhances the effect of triggering release of therapeutics from a drug delivery system with femtosecond laser pulses. The use of femtosecond laser pulses to induce LIB in metal nanoparticles or nanocomposites makes it possible to reduce significantly the threshold laser energy required for LIB. They have also developed a novel technique to acoustically characterize cavitation bubbles generated from the LIB, which can be used for surgical destruction or tissue removal.

Applications and Advantages


  • Use of metal nanoparticles or metallic-nl-nanocomposites to enhance LIB.
  • Use of dendrimer-based nanoparticles-nl-conjugated to linker molecules to selectively-nl-deliver the nanoparticles to targeted components-nl-in biological systems suitable for laser-nl-activation.
  • Use of enhanced LIB for the generation of-nl-cavitation bubbles for surgical destruction-nl-or tissue removal.


  • Lowering breakdown threshold would allow-nl-for the selective breakdown and targeting-nl-of dendrimer nanocomposites to release-nl-therapeutics while avoiding tissue damage.
  • Femtolaser pulses are confined within a nanometer region that allows for targeted-nl-nanoheating without unwanted damage to cells.