Nanomedical diagnostic and therapeutic applications based on nanomaterials show great promise for the advancement of medicine. One novel class of these types of nanomaterials includes a range of nanoscale magnetic entities, which may be administered to a patient and then selectively induced to generate heat (hyperthermia) in vivo to selectively eradicate diseased cells and tissues. Potential applications for this highly localized capability may include the thermal deactivation of cancer cells, tumors, other non-cancerous diseased cells and tissues, or blood borne pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, thermally triggered drug release strategies might have the capacity for the specifically targeted delivery of highly potent drugs, albeit in microscopic volumes, directly to disease affected cells. In this review we will survey a range of patents and some related journal articles that describe the latest advancements taking place in this unique and burgeoning area.
Keywords: hyperthermia, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), cancer cells, tumors, ferrofluids, surfactant, targeting, drug delivery, tissue ablation
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