• nanotechnology;
  • nanoparticles;
  • photothermal treatment;
  • photoacoustic detection;
  • mosquitoes


In biomedical applications, nanoparticles have demonstrated the potential to eradicate abnormal cells in small localized pathological zones associated with cancer or infections. Here, we introduce a method for nanotechnology-based photothermal (PT) killing of whole organisms considered harmful to humans or the environment. We demonstrate that laser-induced thermal, and accompanying nano- and microbubble phenomena, can injure or kill C. elegans and mosquitoes fed carbon nanotubes, gold nanospheres, gold nanoshells, or magnetic nanoparticles at laser energies that are safe for humans. In addition, a photoacoustic (PA) effect was used to control nanoparticle delivery. Through the integration of this technique with molecular targeting, nanoparticle clustering, magnetic capturing and spectral sharpening of PA and PT plasmonic resonances, our laser-based PA-PT nano-theranostic platform can be applied to detection and the physical destruction of small organisms and carriers of pathogens, such as malaria vectors, spiders, bed bugs, fleas, ants, locusts, grasshoppers, phytophagous mites, or other arthropod pests, irrespective of their resistance to conventional treatments. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)