Fighting cancer: photonics in the operating room

In the Poli labs, a new generation of scientists is charting new routes: today we introduce you twelve of them, among the best young researchers in Europe

Politecnico is at the top of the world rankings of universities also thanks to the frontier scientific research it carries out in its laboratories. The protagonists of this Italian record are the approximately 3,500 scientists and researchers of Politecnico. Among the hottest topics are obviously those related to the systemic transformation towards climate neutrality; and then, the world of digital, space exploration, life sciences, the movements embraced by the New European Bauhaus, the new frontiers in the study of matter... In particular, young researchers inject new life into the research system and grow innovative scientific strands. Politecnico invests in activities aimed precisely at encouraging young scientists of excellence to join in. Among many, this year we welcome twelve new young researchers who are among the best of their generation. They are here at Politecnico di Milano thanks to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellowship programme. Let us introduce them... in alphabetical order.

ANDREA LILIANA PACHECO TOBO aims to pioneer the development of photonics-based spectroscopy and thermometry methods for clinical solutions, to distinguish tissue undergoing coagulative necrosis and/or hyperthermia from normal healthy tissue during tumour removal by thermal ablation. To achieve this goal, she tells us, " 1(1) I will study endogenous concentrations of optical biomarkers useful for differentiating ablation margins; (2) I will develop a tissue phantom to recreate the thermal gradients and optical properties of the main tissue ablation zones; (3) I will conduct observational studies to collect data in-situ from animals undergoing cancer treatment with laser ablation; and (4) I will develop data acquisition and processing algorithms for detecting the ablation margin based on the results of spectrometric and thermometric measurements acquired with both phantoms and animal studies”. The technology to be developed can minimise the destruction of healthy tissue surrounding the lesions while obtaining a complete section of the tumour.

Read more: all Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) researchers in 2023 on MAP 12