Assembly of iron oxide nanocubes for enhanced cancer hyperthermia and magnetic resonance imaging

Minjung Cho, Antonio Cervadoro, Maricela R. Ramirez, Cinzia Stigliano, Audrius Brazdeikis, Vicki L. Colvin, Pierluigi Civera, Jaehong Key, Paolo Decuzzi

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple formulations of iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have been proposed for enhancing contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and for increasing efficacy in thermal ablation therapies. However, insufficient accumulation at the disease site and low magnetic performance hamper the clinical application of IONPs. Here, 20 nm iron oxide nanocubes were assembled into larger nanoconstructs externally stabilized by a serum albumin coating. The resulting assemblies of nanocubes (ANCs) had an average diameter of 100 nm and exhibited transverse relaxivity (r2 = 678.9 ± 29.0 mM‒1·s‒1 at 1.41 T) and heating efficiency (specific absorption rate of 109.8 ± 12.8 W·g‒1 at 512 kHz and 10 kA·m‒1). In mice bearing glioblastoma multiforme tumors, Cy5.5-labeled ANCs allowed visualization of malignant masses via both near infrared fluorescent and magnetic resonance imaging. Also, upon systemic administration of ANCs (5 mgFe·kg‒1), 30 min of daily exposure to alternating magnetic fields for three consecutive days was sufficient to halt tumor progression. This study demonstrates that intravascular administration of ANCs can effectively visualize and treat neoplastic masses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT RP110262); the “pilot projects” of the Translational Imaging Department at the Houston Methodist Hospital; the “George and Angelina Kostas Research Center for Cardiovascular Nanomedicine”; a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2015R1C1A1A01052592); and the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program (2016M3A9B4919711). This manuscript is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague Pierluigi Civera, known as “Gigi”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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