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Magnetic nanoparticles with enhanced hyperthermic properties for cancer treatment

Grant number: 20/06501-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2021 - January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Laudemir Carlos Varanda
Grantee:Laudemir Carlos Varanda
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Magnetite nanoparticles can be used in several applications, among which stands out its performance as theranostic, that is, a unique platform used in therapy and diagnosis of diseases. When an alternating magnetic field is applied, the particles absorb energy and release it in the form of heat (hyperthermia), which can be used to kill tumor cells selectively. Different ligands can assign additional properties to the magnetic nanoparticle, called functionalities, and in this case, the nanoparticle can be understood as a multifunctional platform. For example, it can be used as both a magnetohyperthermic and contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging, thus called the theranostic platform. In this project, routes will be developed to synthesize magnetic materials for application in the treatment of cancer. The magnetic nanoparticles will be synthesized by the precipitation-reduction routes (aqueous medium), a new environmentally friendly methodology already under development in our Research Group, and by the modified polyol process (non-aqueous medium), respectively, hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials. The methodologies seek to obtain superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPMNPs) with morphological uniformity and high heating potential under alternating magnetic fields. This control aims their size to remain in the range close to the superparamagnetic limit of magnetic monodomain to multi-domains, presumably where the hyperthermic characteristics are enhanced. After aqueous synthesis route has been optimized, the system will be studied evaluating out parameters that allow the route to be scaled, aiming at large-scale production with low costs. These SPMNPs will be coated or pre-functionalized with alkoxysilanes with an amino-terminal group to increase their biocompatibility and intra-tumor bioavailability. Additionally, bare or pre-functionalized alkoxysilane-NPSPM will be coated with an amphiphilic copolymer, which can be used as a matrix contributing to the study of the incorporation of drugs with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory characteristics in the coatings and their release in the presence of an alternating magnetic field. The systems will also be evaluated concerning its colloidal stability of suspensions in the physiological medium and tests of cell viability in healthy and cancerous cell lines. The fundamental conditions of the blood plasma will be mimicked, and in vitro tests of the suspensions will be performed using hyperthermic measurements at frequency/field values that have recently been established as viable for clinical applications. In general, the project aims to obtain stable magnetic systems with magnetic characteristics that enhance the conversion of energy into heat, that is, maximum SAR -Specific Absorption Rate- values to be used in theranostic platforms in the fight against cancer. The success in obtaining the nanoparticles will allow tests to be carried out with existing partner groups, aiming to expand studies for the cancer treatment in vivo using techniques like organ-on-a-chip. (AU)