Photothermal effects and toxicity of Fe3O4 nanoparticles via near infrared laser irradiation for cancer therapy

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Materials Science and Engineering C


The photothermal effect of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles was characterized by photonic absorption in the near-infrared (NIR) region. Upon laser irradiation at 785 nm, the Fe3O4 nanoparticles generate localized hyperthermia in tumorous lesions, which is an effective strategy for cancer therapy; however, uncoated magnetite possesses an innate toxicity which can lead to drawbacks in the clinical setting. To reduce innate toxicity, a poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) coating on the nanoparticles was investigated in order to determine the alterations to stability and the degree of toxicity in an attempt to create a higher utility vector. It was found that the PAA coating significantly reduced the innate toxicity of the uncoated magnetite. Furthermore, the efficacy of PAA-coated magnetite nanoparticles (PAA-Fe3O4) was investigated for treating MDA-MB-231 (human mammary gland adenocarcinoma) cultures in viable concentration ranges (0.1-0.5 mg/ml). An appropriate PAA-Fe3O4 concentration range was then established for inducing significant cell death by hyperthermic ablation, but not through innate toxicity.

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