Thermal therapies mediated by iron oxide-based nanoparticles: quantitative comparison of heat generation, therapeutic efficiency and limitations


Ana Espinosa1,2,3

I MDEA Nanociencia, c/Faraday, 9, 28049 Madrid, Spain

2 Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes, UMR 7057, CNRS and
University Paris Diderot, 75205 Paris cedex 13, France

3 Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Cantoblanco, E-28049 Madrid, Spain

Thermal nanotherapies as magnetic hyperthermia (MHT) and photothermal therapy (PTT) are two promising emergent treatments and noninvasive approaches for tumor ablation, where localized heat generation is mediated by magnetic and photo-activatable nanomaterials[1][2]. Until very recently, these thermal nanotherapies, have been developed separately: MHT is mainly focused on the use of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles due to their excellent biodegradability[3], while metallic nanoparticles such as gold nanomaterials are often preferred due to their strong absorption cross sections. They have recently begun to intersect due to the recent discovery and use of photothermal properties of iron oxide nanostructures[4] or to the use of magneto-photothermal hybrids[5], which efficiently combine both heating features in one-single object.

A comprehensive comparison of the heating efficiency of magneto- versus photo-thermal effect is presented, where different magnetic nanoparticles have been confronted (iron oxides, cobalt ferrite, spheres, cubes, flowers) with different metallic nanoparticles in aqueous, cellular, and tumoral environment[6]. Intracellular processing markedly impacted MHT, while endosomal sequestration could have a positive effect for PTT. In the search for the most therapeutically viable modality, the effect of nanoparticle concentration and the experimental exposure parameters (magnetic field strengths/frequencies and laser power densities) have been investigated. The intracellular biotransformations of these nanomaterials in the biological environment has also been explored through the study of their physical and chemical modifications at the nanoscale over the time[7].

Aknowledgements: MINECO project SEV-2016-0686 and Comunidad de Madrid 2018-T1/IND-1005.


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[5] A. Espinosa, M. Bugnet, G. Radtke, S. Neveu, G. A. Botton, C. Wilhelm, and A. Abou-Hassan, Nanoscale 7, 18872 (2015).

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