SF Bay Area Nanotechnology Council


Nanophosphors in Cancer Diagnosis, Therapeutics and Drug Delivery

RavilisettyTuesday March 18, 2014
Noon – 1  pm
Texas Instruments (TI) Auditorium E-1
2900 Semiconductor Drive
Santa Clara, CA



TITLE: Nanophosphors in Cancer Diagnosis, Therapeutics and Drug Delivery

SPEAKER: Dr. P. R. Ravilisetty, President Specialty Phosphors Inc.

Mammography is considered to be the best tool for the detection of breast cancer, and high-resolution images can detect cancer more accurately than other systems, particularly with computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems. Current digital mammography systems use needle shape CsI:Tl phosphor pixels <100 μm in size. The stability and life span of these phosphor needles are limited due to their hygroscopic and fragile nature. Our approach to avoid current limitations in digital mammography is to grow micron-size pillars of very stable scintillator materials using novel nanophosphors.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is currently used clinically where a photosensitizer such as Photofrin is activated with laser light to produce oxygen radicals that kill cancer cells. Visible light only penetrates few millimeters into tissue. IR light penetrates much deeper, but does not activate photo sensitizers. Upconverting phosphors (UCPs) absorb infrared photons and emit visible photons. Due to low conversion efficiency, UCPs do not deliver enough visible light. X-ray excitable nanophosphors are good candidates to deliver higher flux visible light to sensitize PDT drug. Currently, we are investigating the possibility of adopting inorganic nanophosphors as a biological contrast agent for medical imaging in X-ray/optical combo. We are also working on X-ray luminescence computed tomography (XLCT), a new molecular imaging modality with medical research groups at Stanford University. This combined modality may yield an increase in the utility of omnipresent X-ray imaging by enabling concurrent molecular imaging. Nanophosphors with magnetic properties are being explored at SPI in drug delivery.

Nanophosphors synthesis, characterization, and possibilities of using in early detection of breast cancer, X-ray PDT, medical imaging in a combined X-ray/optical instrument and drug delivery will be presented.

Dr. Ravilisetty is a President of Specialty Phosphors Inc., a startup company dedicated to development and manufacturing of nanophosphors for medical, display, lighting and security applications. Dr. Ravilisetty spent five years in CECRI (Government Lab.), India developing optically stimulated dosimetry and color TV phosphors. At Panasonic Plasma Display Lab, he spent more than 12 years developing novel, highly efficient, and small size particle phosphors for plasma display panels (PDP). He continued his development of phosphors at Sarnoff Research Institute (SRI) International for display and lighting applications. During his 35 years career, Dr. Ravilisetty published his research and development findings extensively as journal publications (96), books (2), & patents (19) He is Fellow/Senior/active member of SID, IEEE, Luminescence Soc of India, ISI, etc. He obtained his Ph. D. degree in Materials Science from Indian Institute of Technology.


  • 11:30 am – Registration & light lunch (pizza & drinks)
  • Noon – Presentation & Questions/Answers
  • 1:00 pm – Adjourn

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