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 Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

nachricht Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission
17.08.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>