Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1180–1188

Magnetic Nanoparticles for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

Expert review

ABSTRACT

Nanotechnology is evolving as a new field that has a potentially high research and clinical impact. Medicine, in particular, could benefit from nanotechnology, due to emerging applications for noninvasive imaging and therapy. One important nanotechnological platform that has shown promise includes the so-called iron oxide nanoparticles. With specific relevance to cancer therapy, iron oxide nanoparticle-based therapy represents an important alternative to conventional chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Iron oxide nanoparticles are usually composed of three main components: an iron core, a polymer coating, and functional moieties. The biodegradable iron core can be designed to be superparamagnetic. This is particularly important, if the nanoparticles are to be used as a contrast agent for noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Surrounding the iron core is generally a polymer coating, which not only serves as a protective layer but also is a very important component for transforming nanoparticles into biomedical nanotools for in vivo applications. Finally, different moieties attached to the coating serve as targeting macromolecules, therapeutics payloads, or additional imaging tags. Despite the development of several nanoparticles for biomedical applications, we believe that iron oxide nanoparticles are still the most promising platform that can transform nanotechnology into a conventional medical discipline.

KEY WORDS

cancer diagnosis drug delivery gene delivery iron oxide nanoparticle magnetic nanoparticle  molecular imaging MRI nanomedicine siRNA therapy  

ABBREVIATIONS

APC

antigen-presenting cell

DMNP

drug-delivering magnetic nanoparticles

DOX

doxorubicin

Gd

gadolinium

GFP

green fluorescent protein

HER

anti HER2/neu antibody

IRR

irrelevant antibody

MN

magnetic nanoparticle

NIR

near infrared

RFP

red fluorescent protein

R2

transverse relaxation rate

T1

longitudinal relaxation time

T2

transverse relaxation time

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehmet V. Yigit
    • 1
  • Anna Moore
    • 1
  • Zdravka Medarova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Molecular Imaging LaboratoryAthinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingMassachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical SchoolCharlestownUSA

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