Big Idea: Professor’s Invention Seeks to Destroy Cancer

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Christian PariggerChristian Parigger, associate professor of physics at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma, wants to advance the fight against cancer.

His big idea: develop a technology that goes on a “seek and destroy” mission for cancerous tumors.

His invention uses a femtosecond laser, which means it pulses at speeds of one-quadrillionth of a second. The high speed enables the laser to focus in on a specific region to find and acutely map a tumor.

Big Orange. Big Ideas.“Using ultra-short light pulses gives us the ability to focus in a well confined region and the ability for intense radiation,” said Parigger. “This allows us to come in and leave a specific area quickly so we can diagnose and attack tumorous cells fast.”

The technology can be especially helpful to brain cancer victims. The imaging mechanism can non-invasively permeate thin layers of bone, such as the skull, and can help define a targeted treatment strategy for persistent cancer.

Parigger and his colleagues are working to bring the technology to the marketplace.

Learn more about Parigger’s technology in the video below.

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