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How many nanoparticles heat the tumor?
Date:8/9/2010

hich shows where the nanoparticles are located in the body and in which quantity they can be found there. On this basis, a selective treatment of the tumour can be achieved. PTB scientists have found out that magnetic relaxometry is very well suited to obtain this information without even touching the body of the patient or harming her/him in another way.

This is done as follows before the treatment as such is started: The ferric oxide nanoparticles injected into the tumour are superparamagnetic, i.e. they are small magnetic particles which can change their magnetization direction independently of one another. At room temperature, their orientation in the room is statistically distributed so that their sum does not form a magnetic moment. If an external constant magnetic field is now applied, they all orientate themselves almost identically in the room along the field and generate a magnetic moment which can be measured from the outside. This magnetic field is then switched off and with sensitive magnetic field sensors, so-called SQUIDs (Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices, superconducting quantum interference units), the following relaxation of the magnetization - i.e. the return of the magnetic moment from the uniform orientation towards a state with a statistic distribution - is determined extremely promptly. The amplitude of the relaxation signal then provides information about the particle quantity.

The investigations carried out so far on mice allow the conclusion to be drawn that the injection of magnetic nanoparticles and the whereabouts of the particles at the place of injection work variably well. In some tumours, the scientists could find - 24 hours after the injection - the almost complete amount of nanoparticles in the cancer, whereas in other tumours only one quarter of the injected particles could be detected. Up to now, it has not been possible to find a well-founded explanation for these different quantities of magnetic
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Contact: Dr. Heike Richter
heike.richter@ptb.de
49-030-348-17736
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Source:Eurekalert

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