New silicon-based technology helps medicine | Central regions, Technology & innovation

Central regions | Technology & innovation

New silicon-based technology helps medicine

15 Sep '20
Scientists at Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU) have come up with a new silicon nanoparticles synthesis method and proven the possibility of using the nanoparticles in biomedical diagnostics, visualizing inhomogeneity in tissue structure.

Nanostructured silicon (Si) has long been in broader use than the original application in microchips and solar cells. One of the new and promising applications is diagnostics of tissue and body cells. A competitive technique that brings about such nanostructured Si is pulse laser ablation of silicon in liquids and gases.

A team at MSU’s Department of Physics, Femtosecond Nanophotonics Lab, experimented with ablation techniques and has shown that porous silicon films serve perfectly as ablation targets.

These materials are easy to make by simple and cost-effective electrochemical etching. Their low heat conductance and high enough mechanical strength enable an exponential increase in Si nanoparticle yield, compared to other methods.

“We synthesized silicon nanoparticles, using this new approach, and deposited them onto the surface of porous agar gel which “emulated” biological tissue in our experiments. At the end of the day we realized that the nanoparticles make it possible to obtain high contrast images of inhomogeneities in what was originally the homogeneously transparent agar gel. This is a crucial step for biomedical diagnostics, enabling the visualization of biological and bio-like tissues,” said Stanislav Zabotnov, an associate professor of MSU’s Department of Physics, General Physics and Molecular Electronics Chair.