Minimally invasive heated magnetic nanoparticles to help in cancer treatmentService Engineering
Scientists at the University at Buffalo, New York are developing nanoparticles that can attack tumours with significant amounts of heat under a low magnetic field, which should not have the side effects that come with chemotherapy and radiation. However, more research is required before this therapy can be made available to patients.
Project lead Hao Zeng, PhD, professor of physics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences said: “The main accomplishment of our work is the greatly enhanced heating performance of nanoparticles under low-field conditions suitable for clinical applications. The best heating power we obtained is close to the theoretical limit, greatly surpassing some of the best-performing particles that other research teams have produced. The treatment will only heat up the region where nanoparticles are without affecting healthy tissues that are further away, so we anticipate few side effects. In addition, the magnetic field that’s used to excite the particles can penetrate deep into the body from an instrument that does not require any contact or insertion of probes. As such, the therapy can reach parts of the body that are not easily accessible to surgery.”
“Scientists at the University at Buffalo, New York are developing nanoparticles that can attack tumours with significant amounts of heat under a low magnetic field, which should not have the side effects that come with chemotherapy and radiation.“
Magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia is not new, but the scientists designed new magnetic nanoparticles that get hotter and generate heat a faster than some of the highest-performing magnetic nanoparticles studied under low-field conditions. Zeng thinks bone cancer treatment will be one early application for heated magnetic nanoparticles. He said: “Typically, after a surgery to remove bone tumours, a synthetic material called bone cement is injected to fill the voids. If we introduce our nanoparticles into the bone cement, they can be heated on demand to kill any tumour cells that remain nearby, and help prevent recurrence of the cancer.”