Our research centers on understanding the intra-tumoral heterogeneity in the in vitro models that represent different cancer stages. Our working theory is based on the correlation between the thermal properties of the cells and the diseased state, i.e. cells at different cancer stages have different thermal behavior. For cellular lever thermal measurements, we have developed a Micro-Thermal Sensor (MTS) of size < 2 µm, which works on the principle of a thermocouple.

Research topics

  • 2019 Award Number:1906553, NSF Organization:CBET, Div Chem, Bioeng, Env, & Transp Sys

Proposal: "Thermal conductivity and diffusivity of human cells as biomarkers in early-stage ovarian cancer detection," is under the direction of Tae-Youl Choi, Denise Perry Simmons. 

“Currently, there is no reliable test for early diagnosis of first time or recurrent epithelial ovarian cancers. This project will develop a new technique of micropipette thermography, which, if successful, will lead to new insights into mechanisms of cancer progression, early cancer detection, and early cancer diagnosis. This research proposes that specific cell types possess characteristic responses to heat that can be used to identify the cell type. Characterization of this property may introduce a new class of cellular thermal markers for normal or diseased cells."

  • 2017 NIH Developmental Therapeutics Program Repository, Division Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis

Proposal-selected MTA: UNT Principal Investigator Recipient: Denise Perry Simmons and NIH-NCI Provider, Michael M. Gottesman, M.D.: receipt 6 models of cancer for biomedical research and translational studies leading to detection, diagnosis, treatment, and mechanism-driven discoveries.