Research on cancer-frying nanoparticles heats up

IMAGE: A transmission electron microscope image of zinc ferrite nanoparticles with an average diameter of 22 nanometers. This type of nanoparticle possesses high heating performance at very low magnetic fields suitable… view more 

Credit: Xiang Yu

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Need to kill tumors? Just add heat.

That’s the promise of heated magnetic nanoparticles, a futuristic-sounding technology that could one day be used to fry and eradicate cancer cells without harming healthy tissue elsewhere in the body.

New research led by the University at Buffalo advances this concept, with scientists developing nanoparticles that can zap tumors with significant amounts of heat under a low magnetic field. The study was published online on June 21 in the journal Small, and was selected as a future cover article.

“The main accomplishment of our work is the greatly enhanced heating performance of nanoparticles under low-field conditions suitable for clinical applications. The best heating power we obtained is close to the theoretical limit, greatly surpassing some of the best-performing particles that other research teams have produced,” says Hao Zeng, PhD, professor of physics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, who led the project.

He explains that the therapy has a number of


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