Optimizing Emerging Healthcare Innovations in 3D Printing, Nanomedicine, and Imageable Biomaterials


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Emerging technologies in the healthcare industry encompass revolutionary devices or drugs that have the potential to change how healthcare will be practiced in the future. While there are several emerging healthcare technologies in the pipeline, a few key innovations are slated to be implemented clinically sooner based on their mass appeal and potential for healthcare breakthroughs. This thesis will focus on specific topics in the emerging technological fields of nanotechnology for photothermal cancer therapy, 3D printing for irreversible electroporation applications, and imageable biomaterials. While these general areas are receiving significant attention, we highlight the potential opportunities and limitations presented by our select efforts in these fields. First, in the realm of nanomedicine, we discuss the optimization and characterization of sodium thiosulfate facilitated gold nanoparticle synthesis. While many nanoparticles have been examined as agents for photothermal cancer therapy, we closely examine the structure and composition of these specific nanomaterials and discuss key findings that not only impact their future clinical use, but elucidate the importance of characterization prior to preclinical testing. Next, we examine the potential use of 3D printing to generate unprecedented multimodal medical devices for local pancreatic cancer therapy. This additive manufacturing technique offers exquisite design detail control, facilitating tools that would otherwise be difficult to fabricate by any other means. Lastly, in the field of imageable biomaterials, we demonstrate the development of composite catheters that can be visualized with near infrared imaging. This new biomaterial allows visualization with near infrared imaging, offering potentially new medical device opportunities that alleviate the use of ionizing radiation. This collective work emphasizes the need to thoroughly optimize and characterize emerging technologies prior to preclinical testing in order to facilitate rapid translation.



Irreversible Electroporation, Additive manufacturing, Near Infrared Imaging, Gold Nanoparticles