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In regard to cancer therapy, magnetoelectric nanoparticles (MENs) have proven to be in a class of its own when compared to any other nanoparticle type. Like conventional magnetic nanoparticles, they can be used for externally controlled drug delivery via application of a magnetic field gradient and image-guided delivery. However, unlike conventional nanoparticles, due to the presence of a non-zero magnetoelectric effect, MENs provide a unique mix of important properties to address key challenges in modern cancer therapy: (i) a targeting mechanism driven by a physical force rather than antibody matching, (ii) a high-specificity delivery to enhance the cellular uptake of therapeutic drugs across the cancer cell membranes only, while sparing normal cells, (iii) an externally controlled mechanism to release drugs on demand, and (iv) a capability for image guided precision medicine. These properties separate MEN-based targeted delivery from traditional biotechnology approaches and lay a foundation for the complementary approach of technobiology. The biotechnology approach stems from the underlying biology and exploits bioinformatics to find the right therapy. In contrast, the technobiology approach is geared towards using the physics of molecular-level interactions between cells and nanoparticles to treat cancer at the most fundamental level and thus can be extended to all the cancers. This paper gives an overview of the current state of the art and presents an ab initio model to describe the underlying mechanisms of cancer treatment with MENs from the perspective of basic physics.
Stimphil, Emmanuel; Nagesetti, Abhignyan; Guduru, Rakesh; Stewart, Tiffanie; Rodzinski, Alexandra; Liang, Piang; and Khizroev, Sakhrat, "Physics considerations in targeted anticancer drug delivery by magnetoelectric nanoparticles" (2017). Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Publications. 41.
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Originally published in Applied Physics Reviews.