A drug-free and non-invasive cancer treatment based on nanoparticles may be superior to conventional treatments in certain cases, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Nanotechnology.
Jinwoo Cheon and colleagues injected metal oxide nanoparticles into tumours in mice and heated them up by exposing them to radiofrequency waves, causing the destruction of the tumour. By comparison, a standard chemotherapy treatment was not as successful in destroying the tumour.
The key to the success of the new treatment was the very high efficiency with which the nanoparticles converted absorbed electromagnetic waves into heat. This efficiency was achieved by building the nanoparticles from two different magnetic materials in a core-shell arrangement, which allowed their magnetic properties to be finely tuned.
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