Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have high saturation magnetization and are promising candidates for hyperthermia. They may act as magnetic heating agents when subjected to magnetic field in nano-based hyperthermia. In this work, cube-like Fe3O4 nanoparticles (labelled as cubic SPIONs) with reduced graphene oxide (RGO) nanocomposites were prepared by a microwave hydrothermal method. The shape and size of magnetic nanoparticles were controlled by varying synthesis parameters, including reaction time, pressure and microwave power. This study successfully synthesized cubic SPIONs nanocomposites with an average particle size between 24-34 nm. Poly-(ethylene) glycol (PEG) was used as a coating material on SPIONs to enhance biocompatibility. The RGO sheets provided a high surface area-to-volume ratio for SPIONs to be dispersed on their surface, and hence, they prevented aggregation of the SPIONs in the nanocomposites. Magnetically induced heating studies on the optimized nanocomposite (Fe3O4/RGO/PEG) demonstrated heating capabilities for magnetic hyperthermia application with a promising specific absorption rate (SAR) value of 58.33 W/g in acidic solution. Cytotoxicity tests were also performed to ensure low nanoparticle toxicity before incorporation into the human body. The results of the standard assay for the toxicity determination of the nanocomposites revealed over 70% cell survival after 48 h, suggesting the feasibility of using the synthesized nanocomposites for magnetic hyperthermia.
Keywords: breast cancer; cubic nanoparticles; hyperthermia; iron oxide nanoparticles; multi-functional nanocomposites; nano-magnetism.