Flower-like Magnetic Nanoparticles Target Difficult Tumors

AIP Publishing

March 3, 2015

Thanks to the work of an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Dartmouth Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the next-generation magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) may soon be treating deep-seated and difficult-to-reach tumors within the human body.

Though the researchers caution that any new therapies based on their discoveries will have to prove safe and effective in clinical trials before becoming routinely available for people with cancer, they point to the work they published this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, as significant progress.

They created a new class of flower-shaped magnetic nanoparticles with superior performance in low-level magnetic fields and worked out their heating mechanism. The work provides future suggestions for developing a new generation of irregularly shaped magnetic nanoparticles for hyperthermia cancer therapy...

...“To date, most commercially available particles designed for the application of hyperthermia heat very well in a relatively high frequency, strong magnetic field,” said Fridon Shubitidze, associate professor of engineering at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering. “However, there is a limit to the frequency and strength that can be applied.”...

...The development of magnetic nanoparticles that heat at lower field levels is an “important step toward making magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia a clinically viable treatment for deep-seated cancers,” Shubitidze noted.

What’s next for the team? “We’re currently working to combine our magnetic nanoparticles and a new device to deliver a higher field strength to the tumor in the case of pancreatic cancer, which is a particularly difficult target for conventional field generating devices,” said Shubitidze.

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