Biomaterial scaffolds for non-invasive focal hyperthermia as a potential tool to ablate metastatic cancer cells

Francisco Pelaez, Navid Manuchehrabadi, Priyatanu Roy, Harishankar Natesan, Yiru Wang, Emilian Racila, Heather Fong, Kevin Zeng, Abby M. Silbaugh, John C. Bischof, Samira M. Azarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Currently, there are very few therapeutic options for treatment of metastatic disease, as it often remains undetected until the burden of disease is too high. Microporous poly(ε-caprolactone) biomaterials have been shown to attract metastasizing breast cancer cells in vivo early in tumor progression. In order to enhance the therapeutic potential of these scaffolds, they were modified such that infiltrating cells could be eliminated with non-invasive focal hyperthermia. Metal disks were incorporated into poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffolds to generate heat through electromagnetic induction by an oscillating magnetic field within a radiofrequency coil. Heat generation was modulated by varying the size of the metal disk, the strength of the magnetic field (at a fixed frequency), or the type of metal. When implanted subcutaneously in mice, the modified scaffolds were biocompatible and became properly integrated with the host tissue. Optimal parameters for in vivo heating were identified through a combination of computational modeling and ex vivo characterization to both predict and verify heat transfer dynamics and cell death kinetics during inductive heating. In vivo inductive heating of implanted, tissue-laden composite scaffolds led to tissue necrosis as seen by histological analysis. The ability to thermally ablate captured cells non-invasively using biomaterial scaffolds has the potential to extend the application of focal thermal therapies to disseminated cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Bank of America, N.A., Trustee , the Kuhrmeyer Chair in Mechanical Engineering (J.C.B.), and the Institute for Engineering in Medicine Cancer Animal Core managed by Dr. Qi Shao at the University of Minnesota . The authors would like to thank William Voje for machine shop training to make the custom punches, Colleen Forster for histological training and assistance, and Buck O'Flanagan for help with animal surgeries. Parts of this work were carried out in the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which has received capital equipment funding from the National Science Foundation, United States , through the UMN MRSEC program under award number DMR-1420013 . Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, United States, Award Number UL1TR000114 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Cancer therapy
  • Composite scaffold
  • Focal hyperthermia
  • Induction heating

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 5

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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