Magnetic nanoparticles fry tumors

July 5, 2011 | Source: Science
Magnetic Nanoparticles

Mice with cancer were placed in an alternating magnetic field, causing nanoparticles injected into a tumor to give out heat and destroy it (credit: Jinwoo Cheon)

Researchers at Yonsei University in Seoul have created a nanoparticle that gets hotter than traditional nanoparticles so that not as many need to be injected into the body.

The team tested its technique on three mice whose abdomens had been grafted with cells from human brain cancer. The researchers injected the tumors with two-layer core-shell nanoparticles (containing a core of one magnetic mineral inside a shell of another), placed the mice inside a coil of wire, and created an alternating magnetic field.

They estimated the temperatures inside the tumors were between 43˚ and 48˚C. After 10 minutes, the team removed the mice from the coil and monitored the tumors for the next 4 weeks. All traces of cancer disappeared from the mice.

The researchers estimate that using core-shell nanoparticles requires 10% of the dose to patients to achieve the same degree of hyperthermia as traditional nanoparticles.