Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Smart anticancer nanofibers: Setting treatments to work together

MANA researchers report that incorporating magnetic nanoparticles and an anticancer drug into crosslinked polymer nanofibers presents a twofold treatment for fighting cancer with diminished side effects.

Stimuli-responsive or ‘smart’ polymeric nanofibers have attracted increasing attention. The nanoscale structures give rise to high sensitivity to stimuli while they can also be manipulated easily as macroscopic materials.

Design concept for a smart hyperthermia nanofiber system that uses magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) dispersed in temperature-responsive polymers. Anticancer drug, doxorubicin (DOX), is also incorporated into the nanofibers. The nanofibers are chemically crosslinked. First, the device signal (alternating magnetic field, AMF) is turned 'on' to activate the MNPs in the nanofibers. Then, the MNPs generate heat to collapse the polymer networks in the nanofiber, allowing the 'on-off' release of DOX. Both the generated heat and released DOX induce apoptosis of cancer cells by hyperthermic and chemotherapeutic effects, respectively.

Now researchers at the University of Tsukuba and the National Institute of Materials Science in Japan have demonstrated how they can be used to host magnetic nanoparticles to exploit hyperthermal effects for treating cancer while avoiding the usual side-effects. The incorporation of doxorubicin in the nanofibers as well allows controlled release of the anticancer drug as an additional mechanism for killing cancer cells.

Magnetic nanoparticles can kill cancer cells through the heat generated by induction when subjected to an alternating magnetic field. Such hyperthermal treatments have also been shown to improve the efficacy of anticancer drugs. However the nanoparticles can also lead to impaired mitochondrial function, inflammation, and DNA damage. Incorporating the nanoparticles into nanofibers may provide a solution.

Young-Jin Kim , Mitsuhiro Ebara , and Takao Aoyagi electrspun the fibers from a solution of the polymer poly(NIPAAm- co -HMAAm) mixed with a solution of magnetic nanoparticles and doxorubicin. The heating caused by the nanoparticles when switching on an alternating magnetic field caused hyperthermal effects, as well as reversible deswelling and deformation of the fibers, which released the drug molecules. Investigations in vitro and in cell lines demonstrated effective killing of cancer cells, which was greatly reduced for hyperthermal treatments alone in the absence of doxorubicin.

“The doxorubicin/magnetic-nanoparticles nanofi ber induced the apoptosis of cancer cells due to a synergistic effect of chemotherapy and hyperthermia,” say the authors. The work demonstrates how smart nanofibers have potential for use as a manipulative material that combines hyperthermia and drug release treatments that can be controlled with the simple switching on or off of an alternating magnetic field.

Contact information
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics(WPI-MANA)
1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba-shi Ibaraki, 305-0044 Japan
Email: and
Telephone: +81-29-860-3354
Journal information
A smart hyperthermia nanofi ber with switchable drug release for inducing cancer apoptosis Young-Jin Kim1,2, Mitsuhiro Ebara1 , and Takao Aoyagi1,2 *,2013 Adv. Funct. Mater. doi: 10.1002/adfm.201300746 .
1. Materials and Science Engineering Graduate School of Pure and Applied Science University of Tsukuba 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
2. Biomaterials Unit International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA) National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan

*Corresponding author:

Adarsh Sandhu | Research asia research news
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>