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Self-Regulating Nanoparticles for Low-Toxicity Cancer Therapeutics

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Published on : Oct 25, 2017

Nanotechnology is rapidly making inroads into various innovative material technologies, impacting a number of practical realms. Healthcare and therapeutics is no different, and the prospect of nanotechnology for developing novel therapies for cancer is deemed to be exciting. In a recent study performed at Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey in collaboration with Dalian University of Technology, China, researchers have discovered novel nanoparticles that can be used for self-regulating temperature hyperthermia and can kill cancerous cells without damaging the healthy ones. Scientists in the study found that Co–Zn ferrite nanoparticles can form a part of hyperthermic-thermotherapy for low-toxicity cancer therapeutics, since they were able to accurately and precisely control the temperature—regulating it within a range of 42°C - 45°C.

The study is reported in the journal Nanoscale in the issue published on October 07, 2017.

Zn-Co-Cr Ferrite Nanoparticles Could Self-Regulate Temperature to 44.0 °C

Metal nanoparticles have been used for thermotherapy for cancer therapeutics, but owing to their low Curie temperature and poor coercivity, their usefulness is largely limited. The high temperature for the required hyperthermia efficiency could be achieved but self-regulating the temperature level so as not to harm healthy human cells is crucial. However, this has long been a key challenge.

The team of researchers found that novel Cr3+ when substituted by Co–Zn ferrite with the required Curie temperature could be made to self-regulate temperature to 44.0 °C, when subjected to standard clinical conditions. The smart Co–Zn ferrite nanoparticles could stop heating once the temperature exceeds 45°C, thus did not harm healthy cells. This was possible since they engineered the nanoparticle suspension and made the Curie temperature to fall in the range of hyperthermia temperatures essential for killing only the malignant tumors.

The researchers investigated the in-vitro cytotoxicity of the nanoparticle suspension and found it to have low-toxicity making it fit for cancer therapeutics