Using nanoparticles for cancer therapy isn’t a new concept, but according to a recent Medgadget article, it just became more efficient. A team of researchers at Oregon State University developed a new type of hyperthermic magnetic nanoparticle that through localized heating can destroy tumors. Prior versions of therapeutic nanoparticles could only be heated to 44 degrees Celsius, which limited their effectiveness. The new version can be heated under an alternating magnetic field to temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius for better results.
Previously, magnetic therapeutic nanoparticles were injected directly into the tumor’s core, but less accessible tumors presented an issue. The new core-shell particles can be injected intravenously at specific doses, allowing circulation to deliver them to the site of the tumor. The particle shell is made from maghemite while the core is magnetite; this unique combination allows for superior heating efficiency, and thus a more effective treatment.