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!
Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object
23.05.2017 | University of California - Davis
Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence
23.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering