Dr. Dror Fixler and his team at the Advanced Light Microscopy Laboratory at Bar-Ilan University have created a non-invasive optical system to detect cancer of the head, neck, tongue and throat. It has proven itself during its first human tests.
He uses gold particles as a diagnostic tool. This method allows for test procedures that are non-invasive and do not involve exposure to radiation. The patient simply gargles with a mixture that includes nanoparticles of gold, which paint the cancer cells. It has been tested on animals, where it has proven to be effective in the detection of various cancers.
Dr. Fixler explains that gold nanoparticles are agents that enable molecular imaging, adding that in conjunction with cancer-seeking antibodies they can target tumors directly and effectively. The success rate of this new diagnostic method is more than 90 percent, according to Fixler, who heads a research group at the Faculty of Engineering and the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Bar-Ilan University. His group’s interdisciplinary activity takes advantage of recent developments in the fields of biology, physics and chemistry.
The quintessential Torah U’Mada man, Dr. Fixler earned his undergraduate, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees from Bar-Ilan, where combining Torah knowledge and secular wisdom frames the University’s teaching philosophy. Fixler was awarded the 2014 Lord Turnberg Fellowship by the Academy of Medical Science for “his groundbreaking research on optical properties of plasmonic nanoparticles and biomedical applications.”
Explaining why he decided to blend the worlds of nano-science and Jewish teachings, Fixler says, “God exists in the small things.”