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Widely used iron nanoparticles exhibit toxic effects on neuronal cells

drugs or radioactive materials directly to a tumor. Magnetic nanoparticles designed to attach to cancerous tissue can also be made to heat up by using a remote, alternating magnetic field, thereby selectively killing cancer cells in a process called magnetic hyperthermia.

Many researchers throughout the world are also studying the use of iron-containing nanoparticles in gene therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and other medically important applications. While studies have focused primarily on the many potential uses of nanoparticles, Jin said more attention should be paid to their safety. "Our experience leads us to conclude that any analysis of the biocompatibility of nanoparticles should include not just a toxicological study of the component parts," said Pisanic, "but also an examination of the total structure as a whole."


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Contact: Rex Graham
ragraham@ucsd.edu
858-822-3075
University of California - San Diego
28-Mar-2007


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