Research 6

Magnetic Nanowires for Cancer Cell Destruction


Work is currently in progress on several aspects of this project:

It is important to address the cytotoxicity of the nanowires. To this end, we perform various assays to study the general effects nanowires have on cells. We also have a close look at the process of nanowire internalization into cells.

The nanowires need to be functionalized for two reasons: 

(i) to prevent their agglomeration and 

(ii) to selectively attach to cancer cells via antibody-specific binding. 

Optimizing the material can enhance the overall performance. For example, oxidizing the iron nanowires to obtain an iron oxide shell surrounding an iron core leads to better biocompatibility. Fabricating nanowires of alternating sections of gold and iron changes the shape anisotropy; thus, provides control over the magnetic properties. For optimum cancer cell killing rates various parameters, e.g. nanowire concentration, nanowire dimension, magnetic field, etc. need to be studied.


​Prof. Tim Ravasi (KAUST)