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The bioheat and mass transfer laboratory (BHMT) at the University of Minnesota is dedicated to the study of thermophysical and biological changes within biomaterials after thermal manipulations (esp.. heating or cooling). This work is broadly in the scientific fields of thermal biology including cryobiology (low temperature biology) and hyperthermic biology, with particular focus in the following application areas: (1) Nanomedicine, (2) Thermal Therapies, (3) Cryo and Biopreservation and (4) Thermal/Mechanical Properties.
The latest area of emphasis in the BHMT lab focuses on the use of iron oxide and gold nanoparticles to enhance thermal therapies. For example, iron oxide can be used for detection and heating of cancer. In addition, gold nanoparticles can be used to deliver drugs or neo-adjuvants and to heat cancer locally by their excitation due to electro-magnetic and optical sources.
Basic investigations of nanoparticle biodistribution and heating at the cellular and tissue level based on nanoparticle type, coating, size, and charge are currently underway. In brief the lab focuses on basic aspects of thermal injury and applied work in the characterization and development of devices for preservation and destruction of cells and tissue using heat or cold.