Carbon Nanotube-Based Radiation Systems

This research program is headed by Dr. Sha Chang and involves development of novel radiation research and clinical devices based on carbon nanotube (CNT) field emission technology (FE).

The program leverages a close research collaboration with Dr. Otto Zhou’s group in the department of Physics & Astronomy. The multidisciplinary research team includes medical physicists, material scientists, and cancer biologists.  Field emission is a quantum effect that emits electrons from a cathode under the control of a surface electronic field.  CNTs are excellent field emitters and CNT field emission technology has been used in Zhou’s group to develop medical imaging devices such as micro-CT for animal model research and tomosynthesis for clinical application.  Our program is focused on the development of CNT field emission technology applications in radiation oncology. We currently (as of 2010) have several research projects funded by NIH grants to develop CNT field emission based single cell Irradiation, micro-CT and micro-RT systems.

Publication list

  • "Development of a carbon nanotube based low -LET multi-pixel microbeam array", S. Chang, J. Zhang, D. Bordelon, E. Schreiber, A. Cox, O. Zhou. Rad. Res 166, 658-659 (2006).
  • "A stationary scanning X-ay imaging system based on carbon nanotube field emitters", J. Zhang, G. Yang, R. Rajaram, E. Guan, Y. Lee, D. LaLush, S. Chang, J.P. Lu, O. Zhou, Medical Physics 33 (6): 2159, JUN 2006
  • "A carbon nanotube based low LET multi-microbeam array singel cell irradiation system", S. Chang, J. Zhang, D. Bordelon, E. Schrieber, A. Cox, O. Zhou,Medical Physics (6): 2271, JUN 2006
  • "Multiplexing radiography using a carbon nanotube based x-ray tube", J. Zhang, G. Yang, Y.Z. Lee, S. Chang, J.P. Lu, O. Zhou, Applied Physics Letters 89, 1 (2006)
  • "A multi-beam x-ray imaging system based on carbon nanotube field emitters", J. Zhang, G. Yang, Y. Z. Lee, Y. Cheng, B. Gao, Q. Qiu, J. P. Lu, and O. Zhou, Proc. SPIE Vol. 6142, 614204 (2006)
  • "Development of a carbon nanotube based microfocus x-ray tube with single focusing electrode", Z. Liu, J. Zhang, G. Yang, Y. Cheng, O. Zhou, and J.P. Lu, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77, 054302 (2006)
  • “Field Emission of Electrons from Single LaB6 Nanowires”, Han Zhang, Qi Zhang, Guang Yang, Jian Zhang, Jie Tang, Otto Zhou and Lu-Chang Qin, Adv. Mater. Vol 18, Issue 1, 87-91(2006)
  • "Tomosynthesis reconstruction from multi-beam x-ray sources", David S. Lalush, Enzhuo Quan, Ramya Rajaram, Jian Zhang, Jianping Lu, and Otto Zhou, Proceeding of 2006 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging
  • Multiplexing Radiography for Ultra-Fast Computed Tomography: A Feasibility Study”, J Zhang, G Yang, Y Lee, S Chang, J Lu, O Zhou, Med. Phys. 34, 2527 (2007)
  • “Feasibility Study of a Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Microbeam System for Cellular Irradiation” S Chang, J Zhang, D Bordelon, S Graboski, E Schreiber, A Cox, and O Zhou, Med. Phys. 34, 2455 (2007)
  • “Monte Carlo Simulation and Design of a Carbon Nanotube Small-Animal Micro-RT System”. E Schreiber and S Chang. Med. Phys. 34, 2332 (2007)
Chang awarded 3-year NCI grant
To develop carbon nanotube micro-RT technology for use in miniature CT scanners.
Chang elected SEAAPM Chapter President
Chapter spans six states.
Chang and Zhou awarded GO grant from NCI
Prestigious $2M Grand Opportunity grant for a novel micro-RT brain tumor irradiator.
Snyder honored for nanotechnology-based cell irradiator
Are cancer cells are more sensitive to microbeam radiation than normal cells?
Nanoparticles Promise Delivery of Abandoned Cancer Drug
A team of UNC researchers developed nanoparticle carriers to successfully deliver therapeutic doses of a cancer drug that had previously failed clinical development due to pharmacologic challenges.
Tepper and DeSimone awarded $13.6M nanotechnology grant
from the National Cancer Institute.
Jian Zhang Receives 2007 AAPM Reviewer’s Choice Award
Zhang speeds up CT imaging with a paper ranked 8th of 1100 papers.
Single cell irradiation
Goal: To develop a novel multi-pixel single cell microbeam irradiation system that can irradiate many individually selected single cells or cellular regions simultaneously or in a time sequence under microscope observation.
Micro-RT irradiation
Goal: To develop a high spatial and temporal resolution micro-RT system for small animal model radiation research using nanotube field emission technology.
Related CNT field emission research projects
The Otto Zhou Research lab, in the UNC Department of Physics & Astronomy, develops carbon nanotubes (CNT) and nanowires into novel devices: research, people, publications, facilities.