top of page


Intracellular Temperature Measurments

This project is based on the elucidating and understanding why cancer cells are warmer compared with non-cancer cells. This general objective is meant to present intracellular temperature as a new paradigm in molecular biology utilizing the last advances of biophotonics and nanotechnology.

It is expected that intracellular temperature will become fully utilized and be considered a meaningful variable for many biological applications and provide a more accurate description of intracellular environments than what is currently available

Rodríguez-Sevilla P., Spicer G., Sagrero A., Adam A., Efeyan A., Jaque D. and Thompson S. (2021) An anisotropy-based fluorescent tracker of cellular activity. Submitted to Advance Functional Material

Donner, J. S., Thompson, S., Alonso-Ortega, C., Morales, J., Rico, L. G., Santos, S. I. C. O., and Quidant, R. (2013) Imaging of plasmonic heating in a living organism. ACS Nano. 7, 8666–8672

Donner, J. S., Thompson, S. a., Kreuzer, M. P., Baffou, G., and Quidant, R. (2012) Mapping intracellular temperature using green fluorescent protein. Nano Lett. 12, 2107–2111

Thompson S., Inon F and Andrade, F.  (2004)  Light Emission Diode Water Thermometer : A Low-Cost and Noninvasive Strategy for Monitoring Temperature in Aqueous Solutions. Applied Spectroscopy  Mar;58(3):344-8

Photodynamic and photothermal therapy

The objectives in this project include the development of new phtodynamic/photothermal therapy agents. 

Together with that,  a deeper understanding of the cell death mechanisms induced by these agents is also part of the objectives in cell culture as well in animal models.


Spicer, G. L. C., Almassalha, L., Martinez, I. A., Ellis, R., Chandler, J. E., Gladstein, S., Zhang, D., Nguyen, T., Feder, S., Subramanian, H., Rica, D., Thompson, S and Backman V. (2018) Label free localization of nanoparticles in live cancer cells using spectroscopic microscopy. Nanoscale 10 19125-30


Thompson, S. A., Aggarwal, A., Singh, S., Adam, A. P., Tome, J. P. C., and Drain, C. M. (2018) Compromising the plasma membrane as a secondary target in photodynamic therapy-induced necrosis Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 26 5224-28


S Paterson, S Thompson, A Wark, R de la Rica.(2017) Gold Suprashells : Enhanced Photothermal Nanoheaters with Multiple LSPR for Broadband (2017) The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 121 (13), pp 7404–7411. 


Singh, S., Aggarwal, A., Thompson, S., Tomé, J. P. C., Zhu, X., Samaroo, D., Vinodu, M., Gao, R., and Drain, C. M. (2010) Synthesis and photophysical properties of thioglycosylated- chlorins, isobacteriochlorins and bacteriochlorins for bioimaging and diagnostics. Bioconjug. Chem. 21, 2136–2146


Aggarwal, A., Thompson, S., Singh, S., Newton, B., Gao, R., Gu, X., Mukherjee, S., and Drain, C. M. (2014) Photophysics of Glycosylated Derivaties of a Chlorin, Isobacteriochlorin, and Bacteriochlorin for Photodynamic Theragnostics: Discovery of a Two-Photon-Absorbing Photosensitizer. Photochem Photobiol. 90, 419–430


Thompson, S., Chen, X., Hui, L., Toschi, A., Foster, D. a, and Drain, C. M. (2008) Low concentrations of a non-hydrolysable tetra-S-glycosylated porphyrin and low light induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells via stress of the endoplasmic reticulum. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 7, 1415–1421


Thompson, S., Ballard, B., Jiang, Z., Revskaya, E., Sisay, N., Miller, W. H., Cutler, C. S., Dadachova, E., and Francesconi, L. C. (2014) 166Ho and 90Y labeled 6D2 monoclonal antibody for targeted radiotherapy of melanoma: Comparison with 188Re radiolabel. Nucl. Med. Biol. 41, 276–281

Develop the new nanothermomethers

This project includes the development and presentation of new probes that can report the nano-scale measurements of temperature: Nanothermometers. The information obtained from these nanothermometeres are utilized to fully understand the biological implications of intracellular temperature and the measurement of temperature in other scientific research fields.


G Spicer, CM Garcia-Abad, E Alejo  S Thompson. (2021)Tryptophan-containing proteins as label-free nanothermometers. arXiv:

G Spicer, S Gutierrez‐Erlandsson, R Matesanz, H Bernard, A Adam, A Efeyan, S Thompson(2021)Harnessing DNA for Nanothermometry. Journal of biophotonics 12 (9)

Spicer, G., Efeyan, A., Adam, A. P., and Thompson, S*. (2019) Universal guidelines for the conversion of proteins and dyes into functional nanothermometers. Journal of biophotonics  


Thompson, S*., Martinez, I. A., González, P. H.-, Adam, A., Jaque, D., Nieder, J. B., and Rica, R. De* (2018) Plug and play anisotropy-based nanothermometers. ACS Photonics

Other high-risk multidisciplinary research projects

Other interdisciplinary research projects are under development at Thompson Lab. Feel free to contact Dr Thompson to know more about them as well as to share ideas about future research projects.

SA Thompson, S Paterson, MMM Azab, AW Wark, R de la Rica* (2017) Light‐Triggered Inactivation of Enzymes with Photothermal Nanoheaters. Small 13 (15), 1603195

De la Rica, R., Thomson, S., Baldi, A., Fernandez-Sanchez, C., Drain, C. M., and Matsui, H*. (2009) Label-free cancer cell detection with impedimetric transducers. Anal. Chem. 81, 10167–10171


G. Rucinskaite, S. Thompson, S. Paterson, R. de la Rica*. (2017) Enzyme-coated Janus nanoparticles that selectively bind cell receptors as a function of the concentration of glucose. Nanoscale,. 9, 5404–5407

bottom of page