Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Sonoluminescence contrast imaging for oncological applications

Acoustic inertial cavitationHigh-resolution bioimagingNanosized contrast agentNPs-assisted sonoluminescenceSemiconductor nanoparticles


Diagnostic system and method for the detection of optical signals and the formation of images deriving from cells and / or tissue of an organism in the antitumor field. In particular, a new nano-sized contrast medium for image is proposed, with a well-defined spectral emission and high optical intensity, to improve sonoluminescence and therefore the diagnostic detection power.

Technical features

Current diagnostic techniques lack high resolution, early diagnosis, and personalized approaches. The proposed invention comprises an ultrasonic activation system capable of inducing inertial cavitation in a liquid medium containing semiconductor nanoparticles. By exceeding a certain energy threshold, a sonoluminescence emission is obtained which is further enhanced by the use of semiconductor nanocrystals. In this case, the role of the semiconductor is to reduce the cavitation threshold to easily obtain sonoluminescence and act as a contrast agent, imparting specific spectral characteristics to the emitted light. The system works not only with water, but also with fluids of biological relevance, enabling bio-imaging. In view of the use of targeted and selective nanoparticles in the oncological site of interest, a personalized bio-imaging method against a specific tumor cell or tissue is obtained, with high resolution capabilities.

Possible Applications

  • Bioimaging of tumor cells and tissues;
  • Early diagnosis;
  • Immunotherapy associated with preventive diagnosis;
  • Personalized medicine;
  • High resolution microscopy;
  • High resolution optical imaging.


  • Conjugation of ultrasound and nanoparticles in a highly effective imaging method;
  • High intensity sonoluminescence emission;
  • Specific spectral characteristics dictated by the semiconductor nanomaterial used;
  • Site-selective and targeted bio-imaging approach to a cell / tissue of interest;
  • Low US power for a high intensity of SL emission.