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Publications in Acta Biomaterialia by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

April 1, 2021

To improve the prognosis of cancer patients, methods of local cancer detection and treatment could be implemented. For that, iron-based nanomaterials (IBN) are particularly well-suited due to their biocompatibility and the various ways in which they can specifically target a tumor, i.e. through passive, active or magnetic targeting. Furthermore, when it is needed, IBN can be associated with well-known fluorescent compounds, such as dyes, clinically approved ICG, fluorescent proteins, or quantum dots. They may also be excited and detected using well-established optical methods, relying on scattering or fluorescent mechanisms, depending on whether IBN are associated with a fluorescent compound or not. Systems combining IBN with optical methods are diverse, thus enabling tumor detection in various ways. In addition, these systems provide a wealth of information, which is inaccessible with more standard diagnostic tools, such as single tumor cell detection, in particular by combining IBN with near-field scanning optical microscopy, dark-field microscopy, confocal microscopy or super-resolution microscopy, or the highlighting of certain dynamic phenomena such as the diffusion of a fluorescent compound in an organism, e.g. using fluorescence lifetime imaging, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, fluorescence anisotropy, or fluorescence tomography. Furthermore, they can in some cases be complemented by a therapeutic approach to destroy tumors, e.g. when the fluorescent compound is a drug, or when a technique such as photo-thermal or photodynamic therapy is employed. This review brings forward the idea that iron-based nanomaterials may be associated with various optical techniques to form a commercially available toolbox, which can serve to locally detect or treat cancer with a better efficacy than more standard medical approaches. Statement of Significance: New tools should be developed to improve cancer treatment outcome. For that, two closely-related aspects deserve to be considered, i.e. early tumor detection and local tumor treatment. Here, I present various types of iron-based nanomaterials, which can achieve this double objective when they interact with a beam of light under specific and accurately chosen conditions. Indeed, these materials are biocompatible and can be used/combined with most standard microscopic/optical methods. Thus, these systems enable on the one hand tumor cell detection with a high sensitivity, i.e. down to single tumor cell level, and on the other hand tumor destruction through various mechanisms in a controlled and localized manner by deciding whether or not to apply a beam of light and by having these nanomaterials specifically target tumor cells.

Research field(s)
Applied Sciences, Engineering, Biomedical Engineering