Heinrich Hofmann, Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for medical application: still a challenging task

Heinrich Hofmann

Powder Technology Laboratory, Institute of Materials, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are in development for medical applications since more than 20 years. In the meantime, several products were on the market and used in clinics as contrast agent for MRI or as drug for successful treatment of anemia. For economic reasons, iron oxide as contrast agent disappeared from the market, because it was only accredited for the imaging of liver. Today the most useful development of superparamagnetic iron oxide is in the field of magnetic fluid hyperthermia. Particles injected locally into the tumor are efficient heat sources if an external alternate magnetic field is applied. To bring iron oxide nanoparticles to the clinics, the properties like saturation magnetization, magnetic anisotropy, colloidal stability, biocompatibility and especially the specific targeting has to be strongly improved. Bedside this, biological properties like biodistribution and residence time have to be adapted to the clinical needs. All this properties could only be improved, if the behavior of the particles is well understood, both from a physical as well as biological side.

In this talk, a short introduction of the state of the art will be given, followed by an analysis of the still existing gaps including some proposition how to overcome it. Focus of the talk will be the physico-chemical properties and in addition to a typically materials development, several aspects of the additional needs regarding standardization, accreditation and good manufacturing practice are included.

Plenary lectures - YUCOMAT 2016

member since 2008