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Home page > LPCNO > News > Real-time analysis of magnetic hyperthermia experiments is possible

Real-time analysis of magnetic hyperthermia experiments is possible

V. Connord et al., Small, 10.1002/smll.201402669

Stimulating magnetic nanoparticles with high-frequency magnetic fields induce biological responses in cells or living organisms. It is for instance possible to trigger the release of drugs in capsules, control the activation of certain genes, stimulate neurons or activate chemical reactions. In an approach called magnetic hyperthermia, nanoparticles are used to induce the death of cancer cells in which they are internalized. However, the mechanisms responsible for this death are currently far from being understood. Their study was made difficult because it was previously impossible to observe the cells directly during the magnetic field application. Collaboration between the Nanomagnetism team at the LPCNO and the "Réceptologie and therapeutic targeting canérologie" team of Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse has removed this technological bottleneck, which makes now possible the real-time observation of intra-cellular mechanisms during magnetic hyperthermia experiments.

To achieve this, a high-frequency miniaturized electromagnet was manufactured. Its small diameter of 3 cm permits its insertion into a cell culture box and the magnetic field application on tumor cells while allowing their observation under a confocal microscope, which is the standard instrument in cell biology. It has been shown that in the early stages of field application, free radicals are released, and the membrane of intracellular compartments containing nanoparticles is weakened. This leads to significant tumor cell death several hours later. This new experimental technique now enables direct observation of the combined effects of magnetic nanoparticles and high-frequency magnetic fields in the different approaches using them in nano-medicine.