Studying of cancer biology with doped magnetic nanomaterials to unravelling their thermal therapeutic potentials

   Department of Physics and Astronomy

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Cancer has a major impact on society, this is reflected by the large number of newly diagnosed cases (375,400 annually for the years 2015-2018 in the UK, i.e. around 1,000 daily)1.

Magnetic nanoparticles have been widely investigated for their great potential as mediators of heat for localised hyperthermia therapy. Nanocarriers have also attracted increasing attention due to the possibility of delivering drugs at specific locations, therefore limiting systematic effects.2

We have recently demonstrated that iron oxide nanoflowers provide 3 times higher heating rates, than any commercially available nanoparticle alternative. This is attributed to the flower-like shape for the iron oxide nanostructrures [3, 4]. 

Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have already been recognized as biocompatible by FDA, and currently they are the best candidate nanoscale materials for magnetic hyperthermia (MH). MH therapy has been approved by FDA for MagForce AG for the focal ablation of intermediate-risk prostate cancer using their NanoTherm® therapy system. In Europe, the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and the Fuenlabrada University Hospital are conducting a new feasibility study on treating locally advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma with IONPs.

Our IONFs show very promising results potential for production at large-scale and at significantly reduced costs. That’s why it is very important to understand the thermal effect of magnetic nanoparticles in cancer biology. The project will expand from nanoflowers to novel magneto-optical nanomaterials that can be also heated by laser to have synergistic effect of both modalities (magnetic field and laser power).  In-vitro hyperthermia evaluation for these nanoclusters will be performed. We will focus on heating efficiency to determine the heat dose of iron oxide flower-like nanostructures, and doped analogues in alternating magnetic fields for potential cancer treatment agents. 


1.     Cancer Research UK:

2.     Hervault A., and Thanh, N. T. K* (2014) Magnetic Nanoparticles-Based Therapeutic Agents for Thermo-Chemotherapy Treatment of Cancer. Nanoscale, 6: 11553-11573.

3.     Storozhuk, , Besenhard M. O., Mourdikoudis, S., LaGrow, A. P., Lees, M.R., Tung, L. D., Gavriilidis, A., Thanh, N. T. K* (2021) Simple and Fast Polyol Synthesis of Stable Iron Oxide Nanoflowers with Exceptional Heating Efficiency. Journal of Applied Materials and Interface. 13: 45870−45880.

4.     Storozhuk, L., Besenhard, M. O., Gavriilidis, A. and Thanh, N. T. K. (2021) Multi-core magnetic metal oxide nanoparticles.  UK Patent Application No. 2108250.8

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Standard 3.5 year PhD studentship


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