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01.04.2016 | Research Paper | Ausgabe 4/2016

Journal of Nanoparticle Research 4/2016

Bio-inactivation of human malignant cells through highly responsive diluted colloidal suspension of functionalized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Nanoparticle Research > Ausgabe 4/2016
Autoren:
Roberta V. Ferreira, Priscila P. Silva-Caldeira, Elene C. Pereira-Maia, José D. Fabris, Luis Carlos D. Cavalcante, José D. Ardisson, Rosana Z. Domingues

Abstract

Magnetic fluids, more specifically aqueous colloidal suspensions containing certain magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), have recently been gaining special interest due to their potential use in clinical treatments of cancerous formations in mammalians. The technological application arises mainly from their hyperthermic behavior, which means that the nanoparticles dissipate heat upon being exposed to an alternating magnetic field (AMF). If the temperature is raised to slightly above 43 °C, cancer cells are functionally inactivated or killed; however, normal cells tend to survive under those same conditions, entirely maintaining their bioactivity. Recent in vitro studies have revealed that under simultaneous exposure to an AMF and magnetic nanoparticles, certain lines of cancer cells are bio-inactivated even without experiencing a significant temperature increase. This non-thermal effect is cell specific, indicating that MNPs, under alternating magnetic fields, may effectively kill cancer cells under conditions that were previously thought to be implausible, considering that the temperature does not increase more than 5 °C, which is also true in cases for which the concentration of MNPs is too low. To experimentally test for this effect, this study focused on the feasibility of inducing K562 cell death using an AMF and aqueous suspensions containing very low concentrations of MNPs. The assay was designed for a ferrofluid containing magnetite nanoparticles, which were obtained through the co-precipitation method and were functionalized with citric acid; the particles had an average diameter of 10 ± 2 nm and a mean hydrodynamic diameter of approximately 40 nm. Experiments were first performed to test for the ability of the ferrofluid to release heat under an AMF. The results show that for concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 1.0 × 103 mg L−1, the maximum temperature increase was actually less than 2 °C. However, the in vitro test results from K562 cells and suspensions containing these MNPs at concentrations varying within a narrower range from 2.5 to 10 mg L−1, typically under an AMF of 15 kA m−1 at 356 kHz, indicate efficient cytotoxic activity against malignant cells and inhibition of cell growth, even at very low hyperthermally induced temperature increases. The IC50 value varied with time, reaching 3.5 mg L−1 after 10 min under the AMF. Our results effectively demonstrate new prospective uses for such nanoparticles in advanced medical practices in oncology.

Graphical Abstract

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