High-performance iron oxide nanoparticles for magnetic particle imaging - guided hyperthermia (hMPI)

Nanoscale. 2016 Jun 16;8(24):12162-9. doi: 10.1039/c6nr01877g.


Magnetic particle imaging (MPI) is an emerging imaging modality that allows the direct and quantitative mapping of iron oxide nanoparticles. In MPI, the development of tailored iron oxide nanoparticle tracers is paramount to achieving high sensitivity and good spatial resolution. To date, most MPI tracers being developed for potential clinical applications are based on spherical undoped magnetite nanoparticles. For the first time, we report on the systematic investigation of the effects of changes in chemical composition and shape anisotropy on the MPI performance of iron oxide nanoparticle tracers. We observed a 2-fold enhancement in MPI signal through selective doping of magnetite nanoparticles with zinc. Moreover, we demonstrated focused magnetic hyperthermia heating by adapting the field gradient used in MPI. By saturating the iron oxide nanoparticles outside of a field free region (FFR) with an external static field, we can selectively heat a target region in our test sample. By comparing zinc-doped magnetite cubic nanoparticles with undoped spherical nanoparticles, we could show a 5-fold improvement in the specific absorption rate (SAR) in magnetic hyperthermia while providing good MPI signal, thereby demonstrating the potential for high-performance focused hyperthermia therapy through an MPI-guided approach (hMPI).

MeSH terms

  • Ferric Compounds*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles*


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • ferric oxide