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Heating nanoparticles to kill tumor cells

Date:
November 24, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
Magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) is a promising new cancer treatment that essentially "fries" cells inside tumors. Nanoparticles are heated, cancer cells die with no adverse effects to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) is a promising new cancer treatment that essentially "fries" cells inside tumors. The procedure has been used successfully in prostate, liver, and breast tumors. Magnetic nanoparticles (each billionths of a meter in size) are injected into the body intravenously and diffuse selectively into cancerous tissues. Add a high-frequency magnetic field, and the particles heat up, raising the temperature of the tumor cells.

"The entire tumor volume is heated above a threshold treatment temperature -- typically 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) -- for generally 30 minutes," explains engineering graduate student Monrudee Liangruksa of Virginia Tech.

The outcome? As described November 23 at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting in Long Beach, CA, when the nanoparticles are heated, cancer cells die with no adverse effects to the surrounding healthy tissue.

To further perfect the technique, Liangruksa and her colleagues explored the effects of different types of magnetic nanoparticles. The most promising varieties, they found, were iron-platinum, magnetite, and maghemite, all of which generate therapeutically useful heating. "However, we wish to use MFH in humans," she says, and "the most biocompatible agents are magnetite and maghemite. Iron-platinum is toxic and vulnerable to oxidation."


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Heating nanoparticles to kill tumor cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123191306.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, November 24). Heating nanoparticles to kill tumor cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123191306.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Heating nanoparticles to kill tumor cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123191306.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

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