Progress Towards Nanoscale Thermal Cancer Therapy Using Magnetic Nanoparticles

Magnetic nanoparticles are being proposed as nanoscale heaters in applications such as magnetic fluid hyperthermia and magnetically triggered drug release. These applications are often touted on the potential advantages of delivering heat at the nanoscale, in close proximity to biological structures. However, macroscopic continuum heat transfer analyses indicate there should be no advantage to deliver heat using nanoparticles and that there is a lower limit to the volume of tissues that can be selectively heated to the hyperthermia range using magnetic nanoparticles. In contrast with the theory, recent experiments from our group and others indicate that nanoscale thermal effects due to energy dissipation by magnetic nanoparticles in alternating magnetic fields indeed exist. In this talk I will address this controversy from the point of view of theory and experiments, and discuss progress towards nanoscale thermal cancer therapy using magnetic nanoparticles.

rinaldiCarlos Rinaldi, PhD, is the Charles S. Stokes Term Professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida. He received his bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, and completed degrees in Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice, and Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to the University of Florida, Prof. Rinaldi was an Assistant Station Director of the MIT David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice and a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Prof. Rinaldi’s research interests are in biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles, including applications where the particles respond to applied magnetic fields by rotating, exerting forces/torques on biological structures, or dissipating the energy of the magnetic field in the form of heat. Prof. Rinaldi received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in recognition of his contributions to magnetic nanoparticle research and to broadening participation of under-represented groups in engineering.