Cobalt Ferrite Nanoparticles for Tumor Therapy : Effective Heating versus Possible Toxicity

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are widely considered for cancer treatment, in particular for magnetic hyperthermia (MHT). Thereby, MNPs are still being optimized for lowest possible toxicity on organisms while the magnetic properties are matched for best heating capabilities. In this study, the biocompatibility of 12 nm cobalt ferrite MNPs, functionalized with citrate ions, in different dosages on mice and rats of both sexes was investigated for 30 days after intraperitoneal injection. The animals' weight, behavior, and blood cells changes, as well as blood biochemical parameters are correlated to histological examination of organs revealing that cobalt ferrite MNPs do not have toxic effects at concentrations close to those used previously for efficient MHT. Moreover, these MNPs demonstrated high specific loss power (SLP) of about 400 W g -1. Importantly the MNPs retained their magnetic properties inside tumor tissue after intratumoral administration for several MHT cycles within three days. Thus, cobalt ferrite MNPs represent a perspective platform for tumor therapy by MHT due to their ability to provide effective heating without exerting a toxic effect on the organism. This opens up new avenues for smaller MNPs sizes while their heating efficiency is maintained.


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