Eran Barnoy won an Excellence Award in a short lecture competition at the Israel Society for Medical and Biological Engineering this March. He was also awarded a prize in the Nano Art competition of the Bar Ilan Academy of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Conference. In addition, he received a scholarship in the field of applied engineering sciences from the Ministry of Science. "I am conducting research on the effect of fluorescence on gold nanoparticles - a natural process in which matter absorbs energy-specific light, and then emits the light with lower energy than the input. This is useful for a variety of optical imaging methods," he explained. "I combine between fluorescent materials and gold nanoparticles, and examine the resulting changes in the fluorescence process. Gold nanoparticles have special optical properties, and their presence affects the properties of materials nearby. For example, their presence can strengthen the fluorescent signal – a property which enables improved and more accurate imaging."
Barnoy developed this technology during his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Rachela Popovtzer and Prof. Dror Fixler. This method can identify and locate certain types of cancer, among other applications. "We can target the gold particles to the tumor using specific coatings of protein or antibodies, which bind to tumor cells. If we attach a fluorescent material to the gold particles, we can see the tumor more clearly and precisely. The next step is, of course, to use this method for more focused and effective treatment of cancer."