Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) of certain compositions have unique properties in that they can be heated by an AC magnetic field, up to a point limited by their Curie temperature. These MNPs allow a novel approach for hyperthermia cancer therapy, as they can be easily targeted to individual cells and tissues to localize the therapy. Nanoparticles would be taken into cancerous cells through endocytosis or attach to the surface of cancer cells. Magnetic fields applied from outside the patient's body would then cause induction heating in the nanoparticles thereby killing cancer cells by either hyperthermia (around 42-45 oC) or thermoablation (by heating above 50 oC). The goal of this project is to determine the magnetic field parameters' effects on heating nanoparticle solutions.
In this study, a custom-made induction chamber was used. The chamber applies a high AC voltage to copper coils thereby creating an AC magnetic field with variable intensity (0-1300 Gauss), and at a range of frequencies (130-485 kHz). The temperature of nanoparticles placed within the coils was monitored using an infrared camera, and experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of coil type, capacitance, frequency modulation, position of sample, and field intensity. Tuning of these parameters allows heating of the nanoparticle solutions to be optimized. Heating will also vary based on particle compositions, concentration, sample size, and the presence of salts and other solutes in the sample. The effective tuning of the parameters will be needed to progress in this application with in vivo work in the future.