Ferromagnetic nanosprings: a novel drug delivery platform

Principal Investigator: Minoru Taya

There is a need in oncology for new therapeutics that provide both safer toxicology profiles and have the potential to target tumors with high drug resistance to typical therapies. Additionally, many conventional cancer therapies have a multitude of side effects that severely impact patients’ quality of life and can make it challenging to complete treatment regiments. The ideal therapeutic would be highly localized and targeted, utilizing a novel mechanism of action to eliminate malignant cells without damaging the surrounding tissue or leading to drug resistance.

UW researchers have developed ferromagnetic shape memory alloy (FSMA) nanohelical springs as a novel cancer therapeutic. These FePd nanosprings have a variety of unique functions that make them superior to other nanorobot (NR) technologies. Most notably, they can navigate through the body under applied magnetic field to a precise cell location. Using MRI, these nanoactuators can be tracked to a specific site and mechanical stress can been applied to the target cells. This innovative method of targeted stress-induced apoptosis as a mechanism of cell removal can reduce the risk potential of adverse effects to healthy tissue. While UW researchers focused on targeting cancer with these NR, there are many applications in biomedical field and beyond that could benefit from this technology.

• Can be locally targeted and tracked using magnetic fields.

• Can be selectively activated using MRI, avoiding healthy tissue toxicity. 

• Bypass drug resistance by using a stress-induced apoptosis.


For more info, contact: Ryan Buckmaster

  • swap_vertical_circlelibrary_booksReferences (1)
    1. Taishi Wada, Ryan Cheng Chun Lee, Simon Hsiu Hung Chen, Masahiro Kusaka, Minoru Taya (8/14/2003), Design of spring actuators made of ferromagnetic shape memory alloy and composites, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
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