A team of physics researchers has developed a way to treat cancer without damaging healthy surrounding cells. Professor Ali R. Koymen and Assistant Professor Samarendra Mohanty, along with postdoctoral researchers Ling Gu and Vijayalakshmi Vardarajan, use magnetic carbon nanoparticles to destroy cancer cells through laser therapy. “Because these nanoparticles are magnetic, we can use an external magnetic field to focus them on the cancer cells. Then we use a low-power laser to heat them and destroy the cells beneath,” Dr. Koymen says. “Since only the carbon nanoparticles are affected by the laser, the method—which is nontoxic—leaves the healthy tissue unharmed.” The carbon nanoparticles produced for the study varied from five to 10 nanometers wide.