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Magnetic nanoparticle coatings and colloidal stability, hyperthermia properties and cell interactions


Nanoparticles (NPs) used in biomedical applications require a coating to prevent their aggregation in solution and also to provide stability. In case of magnetic NPs that are used for magnetic hyperthermia and as contrast enhancement agent in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), polysaccharides such as dextran and carboxymethyl are routinely used. Although these polysaccharides are widely used as a coating material, the effect of molecular weight on internalization and biological fate of these carboxymethyl dextran coated nanoparticles has not been studied. In this project, the effects of magnetite nanoparticle coating composition on their colloidal stability as well as its effects on the uptake by healthy and breast cancer cells in vitro were studied. In addition, the effect of such particles in the viability of cancer cells after magnetic fluid hyperthermia treatment (MFH) was also studied. Results show that for the same concentration of iron oxide NPs, the molecular weight of the coating material does not have any effect on the heating capacity of the Magnetic NPs. The cellular uptake and cytotoxicity studies were carried out on normal healthy breast cells and several strains of breast cancer cells. In all of these studies, for all the composition studied, there was no cytotoxicity behavior from the magnetic NPs. Future experiments will study the effect of MFH on cancer cells that have been loaded with magnetic NPs. This success of this project will help get one step closer to the cure of cancer using nanotechnology.

Address Goals

The use of nanoparticles in cancer therapy has been recognised by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as the promising technology in the fight against cancer. The approach to this cutting-edge is highly interdisciplinary in nature. The potential benefit of this research is that if offers an unique approach to cancer therapy using magnetic nanoparticles and magnetic hyperthermia that can kill cancer cells without effecting the healthy cells around the tumor. The approach to this project is through a clear understanding on the fundamental properties of nanoparticles and cancer biology.