Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Karin Scarpinato


Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer that is most often found in African American females that is characterized by the lack of the progesterone receptor (PR), the estrogen receptor (ER), and the human epithelial growth factor receptor two (HER2).TNBC is a very aggressive form of breast cancer because it does not respond to hormone therapy, due to the lack of the three vital receptors. Since the current treatment is not affective, the project used porphyrin to specifically target cancer in the body because it has an increased affinity for many cancer types. Gold nanorods were used as a way to quickly heat the cells upon irradiation to kill the cells with heat. The combination of the porphyrin and gold nanorods was thought to selectively target the MDA cells and trigger apoptosis due to hyperthermic ablation once exposed to IR irradiation.