Magnetic nanoparticles can be directed with a magnetic field, this allows, for example, delivery of drugs to a tumor. Magnetic nanoparticles also can improve the sensitivity of medical imaging techniques that use magnetic signals.
A method for early diagnosis of brain cancer under development uses magnetic nanoparticles and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology. The magnetic nanoparticles attach to particles in the blood stream called microvesicles which originate in brain cancer cells. NMR is then used to detect these microvesicle/magnetic nanoparticle clusters, allowing an early diagnosis.
Iron oxide nanoparticles can be used to improve Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of cancer tumors. The nanoparticle is coated with a peptide that binds to a cancer tumor. Once the nanoparticles are attached to the tumor, the magnetic property of the iron oxide enhances the images from the MRI scan.
Researchers at MIT have shown that iron oxide nanoparticles in water can be used to increase the amount of heat transfer out of a system at localized hot spots. The researchers believe this technique could be applied to cooling a wide range of devices, from electronics devices to fusion reactors.
Magnetic nanoparticles can attach to cancer cells in the blood stream. These nanoparticles may allow doctors to remove cancer cells before they can establish new tumors.
Using nanoscavengers, in which a layer of reactive nanoparticles coat a synthetic core which is designed to be easily magnetized. The nanoparticles, for example silver nanoparticles if bacteria is a problem, attach to or kill the pollutants. Then when a magnetic field is applied the nanoscavengers are removed from the water.
Nanoparticles containing iron oxide that allows the nanoparticles to be directed, by a magnetic field, to stents. This could allow drugs to be delivered directly to stents placed in arteries.
Iron oxide nanoparticles can used to improve MRI images of cancer tumors. The nanoparticle is coated with a peptide that binds to a cancer tumor, once the nanoparticles are attached to the tumor the magnetic property of the iron oxide enhances the images from the Magnetic Resonance Imagining scan.