Cancer is one of humanity’s biggest killers, but scientists are coming up with some creative ways to fight back. Researchers at the University at Buffalo have developed new kinds of nanoparticles that can infiltrate, heat up and kill cancer cells more effectively and efficiently than similar methods.
Previous work has killed tumors by activating CeF3 nanoparticles with X-rays to create toxic singlet oxygen, used infrared light to ramp up cancer’s pH balance, used laser pulses to heat up gold nanoparticles, or a combination of several of these.
The new study uses a technique known as magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia, and it works on a similar basis. Magnetic nanoparticles are introduced into tumor cells before an alternating magnetic field is applied to the area. That makes the particles flip back and forth hundreds of thousands of times per second, heating them up to the point of destroying the cancer cells.