Nanofibers and nanoparticles could work together to treat cancer

07/16/2013 - 00:00

Japanese researchers report that incorporating magnetic nanoparticles and an anticancer drug into crosslinked polymer nanofibers presents a twofold treatment for fighting cancer with diminished side effects.

Stimuli-responsive or 'smart' polymeric nanofibers have attracted increasing attention. The nanoscale structures give rise to high sensitivity to stimuli while they can also be manipulated easily as macroscopic materials. Now researchers at the University of Tsukuba and the National Institute of Materials Science in Japan have demonstrated how they can be used to host magnetic nanoparticles to exploit hyperthermal effects for treating cancer while avoiding the usual side-effects. The incorporation of doxorubicin in the nanofibers as well allows controlled release of the anticancer drug as an additional mechanism for killing cancer cells.