Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetic nanoparticles to simultaneously diagnose, monitor and treat

10.11.2009
Whether it's magnetic nanoparticles (mNPs) giving an army of 'therapeutically armed' white blood cells direction to invade a deadly tumour's territory, or the use of mNPs to target specific nerve channels and induce nerve-led behaviour (such as the life-dependant thumping of our hearts), mNPs have come a long way in the past decade.

The future for mNPs however appears even brighter. With the design of 'theranostic' molecules, mNPs could play a crucial role in developing one-stop tools to simultaneously diagnose, monitor and treat a wide range of common diseases and injuries.

Multifunctional particles, modelled on viral particles such as the flu and HIV, are being researched and developed to carry signal-generating sub-molecules and drugs, able to reach target areas through a safe sprinkling of tiny mNPs and external magnetic forces, creating a medical means to confirm specific ailments and automatically release healing drugs while inside a living system.

A landmark selection of review articles published this week in IOP Publishing's Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 'Progress in Applications of Magnetic Nanoparticles in Biomedicine', shows just how far magnetic nanoparticles for application in biomedicine have come and what exciting promise they hold for the future.

The magnetic component of the direction-giving nanoparticles is usually an iron-based compound called ferric oxide which is coated in a biocompatible surface, sometimes using, for example, fatty acids, to provide stability during the particles journey through one's body. For biomedicine, the particles are useful because you can add specific signal triggering molecules to identify certain conditions, or dyes to help in medical imaging, or therapeutic agents to remedy a wide-range of afflictions.

Already well documented, mNPs have sparked interest after being attached to stem cells and used in vivo to remedy heart injury in rats. On humans, in 2007, Berlin's Charité Hospital used a technique which involved mNPs, called hyperthermia, to destroy a particularly severe form of brain cancer in 14 patients. The technique, utilising well-tested knowledge that tumour cells are more sensitive to temperature increases than healthy cells, uses mNPs to direct nano-heaters towards the inoperable tumours and, essentially, cook them to death.

Dr Catherine Berry, one of the review paper's authors from the Centre for Cell Engineering in Glasgow, writes, "One of the main forerunners in the development of multifunctional particles for theranostics is magnetic nanoparticles. Following recent advances in nanotechnology, the composition, size, morphology and surface chemistry of particles can all be tailored which, in combination with their magnetic nanoscale phenomena, makes them highly desirable."

From Friday, 6 November, the selection of review articles can be found at http://stacks.iop.org/JPhysD/42/i=22.

Joe Winters | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iop.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor
24.04.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)

nachricht New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>