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Tiny Magnetic Implant Offers New Drug Delivery Method

March 02, 2017

University of British Columbia researchers have developed a magnetic drug implant that could offer an alternative for patients struggling with numerous pills or intravenous injections. The device, a silicone sponge with magnetic carbonyl iron particles wrapped in a round polymer layer, measures just six millimetres in diameter. The drug is injected into the device and then surgically implanted in the area being treated. Passing a magnet over the patient’s skin activates the device by deforming the sponge and triggering the release of the drug into surrounding tissue through a tiny opening.
“Drug implants can be safe and effective for treating many conditions, and magnetically controlled implants are particularly interesting because you can adjust the dose after implantation by using different magnet strengths. Many other implants lack that feature,” said study author Ali Shademani, a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program at UBC.
Actively controlling drug delivery is particularly relevant for conditions like diabetes, where the required dose and timing of insulin varies from patient to patient, said co-author John K. Jackson, a research scientist in UBC’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. “This device lets you release the actual dose that the patient needs when they need it, and it’s sufficiently easy to use that patients could administer their own medication one day without having to go to a hospital,” said Jackson.
The researchers tested their device on animal tissue in the lab using the prostate cancer drug docetaxel. They found that it was able to deliver the drug on demand even after repeated use. The drug also produced an effect on cancer cells comparable to that of freshly administered docetaxel, proving that drugs stored in the device stay effective. Mu Chiao, Shademani’s supervisor and a professor of mechanical engineering at UBC, said the team is working on refining the device and narrowing down the conditions for its use. “This could one day be used for administering painkillers, hormones, chemotherapy drugs and other treatments for a wide range of health conditions. In the next few years we hope to be able to test it for long-term use and for viability in living models,” said Chiao.
“Active regulation of on-demand drug delivery by magnetically triggerable microspouters” was recently published online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Interested in Going to the "European School on Magnetism"?

March 01, 2017

The next session of the "European School on Magnetism" (ESM) series will take place in Cargèse, Corsica, France, from October 9-21th, 2017. The European School on Magnetism is a pan-European event organized under the umbrella of the European Magnetism Association. 

Submit your application from 1st March to 15th April here.

Theme Issue

December 10, 2016

The journal "Interface Focus" just published a theme issue about ‘Multifunctional nanostructures for diagnosis and therapy of diseases’. Check it out, there are few relevant articles in there for our magnetic particle community.

Check out the articles here:


Thank you Beata Kalska-Szostko, Claudio Sangregorio, Nguyen TK Thanh and Sylvie Bégin-Colin for organizing this issue!

Tiny Magnetic Sensors Might Open Door to Hand-Held Tests

November 13, 2016

In 2008, Dr. Freeman and his team developed a tiny magnetic sensing device, called a torque magnetometer, on a piece of silicon chip that is smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair. The device features a tiny spatula-shaped arm suspended on a narrow band of material that twists ever so slightly when the arm is pulled up or down by a magnetic field.
    Now, Dr. Freeman has joined forces with scientists at the University of Calgary and the National Institute for Nanotechnology to add a nanoscale optical system that can measure the position of the arm to extraordinary precision by setting up a pattern of laser light along its length. The system is so sensitive it can record a displacement in the tip of the spatula as small as the diameter of a proton. In a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the scientists document their latest version of the device and demonstrate its ability to sense magnetic forces at scales far smaller than the device itself.
    There could be a host of uses for such a tool, the researchers say, including probing and characterizing the magnetic properties of new materials that are being developed for future applications in electronics and quantum computing.
    But the most imaginative use may be in the area known as magnetic spectrometry. Because different species of atoms have magnetic properties that can be distinguished from one another, it’s possible to use magnetism to tell them apart. The method can be used like a chemical fingerprint. Such measurements are performed today with bench-sized or even room-sized machines. The Alberta researching team appears to have hit upon a way to shrink the capability down to a microscopic device that could be carried around to determine the composition of different materials.

Prevention of Restenosis with Magnetically Targeted Endothelial Cells

October 06, 2016

Boris Polyak at el. assessed the potential of magnetically mediated delivery of endothelial cells (ECs) to inhibit in-stent stenosis induced by mechanical injury in a rat carotid artery stent angioplasty model. ECs loaded with biodegradable superparamagnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were administered at the distal end of the stented artery and localized to the stent using a brief exposure to a uniform magnetic field. After two months, magnetic localization of ECs demonstrated significant protection from stenosis at the distal part of the stent in the cell therapy group compared to both the proximal part of stent in the cell therapy group and the control (stented, nontreated) group: 1.7-fold (p < 0.001) less reduction in lumen diameter as measured by B-mode and color Doppler ultrasound, 2.3-fold (p < 0.001) less reduction in the ratios of peak systolic velocities as measured by pulsed wave Doppler ultrasound, and 2.1-fold (p < 0.001) attenuation of stenosis as determined through end point morphometric analysis.

The study thus demonstrates that magnetically assisted delivery of ECs is a promising strategy for prevention of vessel lumen narrowing after stent angioplasty procedure. Have a look here at this very interesting work.

Special Issue on Magneto-Plasmonics - Submissions Requested

August 07, 2016

Magneto-plasmonics is a relatively new field that has great potential applications in biomedicine and biomedical technologies such as ultra-sensitive biosensing and bio-detection, bio-imaging, bio-therapy, drug-delivery, nano-imaging, to name a few. Deep understanding of various factors influencing magnetoplasmon properties is an important step in the effort to design new magnetic sensors and devices.

Although some progress on plasmonics has been achieved in the last few years, through combined simulation, modeling, experimental, and theoretical studies, there is still strong need to investigate new phenomena on magneto-plasmonics, in order to better tune and control magneto-optic properties, and to increase the sensitivity of the magnetic bio-sensor through modification of the optical radiation, magnetic field, and structure.

This new field merges the physics of nano-magnetics, where biological samples such as cells and DNA are made to interact with magnetic moments of a material in transverse direction, and nano-optics, where biological samples are made to interact with optical radiation in visible, infra-red, and telecommunication wavelength ranges. In a similar manner, it merges nano-plasmonics where biological samples are made to interact with surface plasmonic wave fields, also referred to as evanescent radiation fields.

Dr. Conrad Rizal from Baylor University's Department of Physics is the lead editor of this special issue. Deadline for paper submissions is November 1, 2016. Please check out more details here.

New Insight Into Magnetic Interactions During Magnetic Hyperthermia

July 09, 2016

A new paper by Iacob, Kuncser, and Ladislau Vekas et al. carefully investigated, both theoretically and experimentally, the behavior of different concentrations of superparamagnetic nanoparticles in an alternating AC magnetic field ranging from 14-35 kA/m. They found that magnetic interactions, that increase with increasing volume fraction, can result in a decrease in SAR, whereas some authors claim that interactions can cause an increase in SAR.

See for yourself and read the paper here.

FDA Warns from Use of Anemia Drug Feraheme (Ferumoxytol)

June 13, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening an existing warning that serious, potentially fatal allergic reactions can occur with the anemia drug Feraheme (ferumoxytol). We have changed the prescribing instructions and approved a Boxed Warning, FDA’s strongest type of warning, regarding these serious risks. Also added is a new Contraindication, a strong recommendation against use of Feraheme in patients who have had an allergic reaction to any intravenous (IV) iron replacement product. Health care professionals should follow the new recommendations in the drug label.

Check out this pamphlet here to read about it.

The effects were very serious, as you can learn from the last paragraph of the FDA warning: Since the approval of Feraheme on June 30, 2009, cases of serious hypersensitivity reactions, including death, have occurred. A search of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System database identified 79 cases of anaphylactic reactions associated with Feraheme administration, reported from the time of approval to June 30, 2014. Of the 79 cases, 18 were fatal, despite immediate medical intervention and emergency resuscitation attempts. The 79 patients ranged in age from 19 to 96 years. Nearly half of all cases reported that the anaphylactic reactions occurred with the first dose of Feraheme. Approximately 75 percent (60/79) of the cases reported that the reaction began during the infusion or within 5 minutes after administration completion. Frequently reported symptoms included cardiac arrest, hypotension, dyspnea, nausea, vomiting, and flushing. Of the 79 cases, 43 percent (34/79) of the patients had a medical history of drug allergy, and 24 percent had a history of multiple drug allergies.

For more information, check out this website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm440138.htm

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Last Modified: December 09, 2013 - Magneticmicrosphere.com 2013