PITA Fiscal Year 2007 Projects

Nanotechnology

Synthesis, Structure, Properties and Performance Relationships of Magnetic Nanoparticles for Applications in Cell Tagging and Cancer Therapy
Magnetic nanoparticles and fluids containing magnetic nanoparticles hold significant promise for a variety of biomedical applications. These include magnetic tagging of cells, targeted drug delivery, bioseparation and cell sorting, thermoablative cancer therapies, cell tracking, magnetic particle dialysis and a variety of sensing applications. This project will look at two end biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles. The first will consider cancer therapies using the fact that nanoparticles can be heated in a radiofrequency coil to kill tumor cells. The second and focal project of the graduate student supported by the project relies on nanoparticles with large magnetic dipole moments to tag cells so that they can be identified by their magnetic response.

The project addresses the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles with appropriate magnetic properties, polymer functionalization of nanoparticles for size selection, dispersion in magnetic fluids and attachment to cells, and cell studies including methods for assessing the uptake of the nanoparticles into cells and their efficacy in performing a desired function in the cell. The project will also be used as a forum to introduce undergraduate students to research in this exciting and evolving field.