Cancer cell targeting with magnetic nanoparticles
At CEA-SPINTEC, engineered magnetic micro/nanoparticles or devices are prepared by top-down approaches and specially designed for biomedical applications. One of them use anisotropic magnetic nanoparticles, aiming at the targeted destruction of cancer cells, by triggering their apoptosis / necrosis thanks to the vibration of the particles attached to their membranes under low frequency (~20 Hz) magnetic fields. Optimization of the curing procedure and nanoparticles magnetic features relies on magnetometry measurements.
Magnetic nanoparticles as MRI contrast agents
Many medical technologies make use of magnetic materials. In particular, magnetic nanoparticles have been widely used as contrast agents for MRI or in drug delivery and hyperthermia treatment for cancer. In addition, recently new promising applications of magnetic nanoparticles are investigated about decreasing implant infection and increasing tissue growth when inserted in an appropriate scaffold.
Current CNR activities are focused on the design of high performance magnetic nanoparticle systems for various biomedical applications, which need particle characteristics including size, shape, surface chemistry, magnetic properties and toxicity to be fully understood. CNR was also involved in the NANoREG project (FP7 – 310584) regarding risk assessment and management of nanomaterials and exposure monitoring. In addition, new biocompatible materials loaded with magnetic nanoparticles are currently studied (CNR-ISM).
At CNR-ISTM chemists and biologists collaborate to design the most effective magnetic nanoparticle systems for various biomedical applications. In particular, research is focused on the optimization of the nanoparticle coating to overcome the issue of nanoparticle capture by the MPS, which hampers successful application of nanoparticles in the medical field. The medical performance of magnetic systems is characterized by magnetometric measurements.