Magnetic nanoparticles have been proposed for biomedical applications for several years. Various research groups worldwide have focused on improving their synthesis, their characterization techniques and the specific tailoring of their properties. Yet, it is the recent, impressive advances in nanotechnology and biotechnology which caused the breakthrough in their successful application in biomedicine. This paper aims at reviewing some current biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles as well as some recent patents in this field. Special emphasis is placed on i) hyperthermia, ii) therapeutics iii) diagnostics. Future prospects are also discussed.