South West & South Wales - Pablo Martinez Pancorbo

Pablo graduated from Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) in 2015 with a BSc in Physics. After that, he worked as Physics Technician in London, being in charge of Health and Safety in two physics labs. He started his MSc in Physics of Complex Systems at National University of Distance Education (Spain), before joining the Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (CDT XM2) as a PhD student in Materials Engineering and Biomedical Physics in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS) at the University of Exeter in 2016. Pablo is working under the supervision of Professor Yanqiu Zhu and Professor Nick Stone. His current PhD project involves the synthesis of a new type of core-shell composite nanoparticle that is able to find single cancer cells with a scattered light-based technique called Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The aim of his project is identifying cancer via this advanced material at an early stage to increment substantially the survival rate of cancer patients.

Pablo has presented his EPSRC-funded work at the 13th International Conference on Materials Chemistry of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He was also shortlisted to present his research at the STEM for BRITAIN Exhibition at Portcullis House, Westminster in 2018. His knowledge in materials engineering and chemistry allowed him to publish in a book chapter about the electrochemical conversion of CO2 into valuable products. Before joining his current project, he published a paper in collaboration with the European Space Agency on the effect of gravitational fluctuations in ternary mixtures under thermal gradients.

In addition to this, Pablo is the elected Treasurer of the Exeter University Optics and Photonics Society (EUOPS) - OSA and SPIE student chapters. He is also a representative member of the CDT XM2 Student Advisory Group (SAG) and a committee member at the University of Exeter CEMPS Postgraduate Liaison Forum. Moreover, he usually volunteers in outreach activities for the Institute of Physics (IOP) and EUOPS. He always tries to connect people with scientific and technological progress to make the world a better place for future generations.

Early-stage cancer imaging with novel nanoparticles

Cancer is one of the main challenges of the 21st century in developed countries. There are several techniques to identify and image it that have proved their capabilities for large cancer tissue. Unfortunately, when cancer spreads to large-scale structures, it can be too late to save the patient. There is an urgent need in finding single cancer cells in the early-stage to improve the rate of survival after applying the therapy. Nanoparticles functionalized with antibodies for cancer attachment have displayed the ability to identify single cancer cells.

This talk introduces a novel Au-SiO2-WO3 core-shell composite nanoparticle which displays strong cancer imaging capabilities via light scattering and potential hyperthermia treatment. The more materials form the nanoparticle, the more useful properties can be used for a highly accurate cancer imaging and subsequent cancer therapy. These novel nanoparticles can broaden the horizons of biomedical material science in the upcoming decades.

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