Use and safety of iron oxide nanoparticles in MRI and MFH

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For decades iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have been exploited to treat anemia and to generate contrast for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). More recently, in combination with magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH), IONPs have transitioned into the clinic as a cancer therapy. Review of the safety profile of IONPs as new clinical applications emerge is an essential step toward their integration. This article provides background on the clinically approved uses of IONPs and safety considerations inherent to IONPs, specifically as applied to MRI and MFH. Finally, the status of the development of MRI as a prediction method for MFH heating dosage is discussed. IONPs appear to be a valuable and potentially safe agent to enhance clinical applications of MRI and MFH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-278
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Dr. Jinjin Zhang for MRI sequence development and the acquisition of images shown in Figure 6. We are also grateful to Prof. P. Jack Hoopes for initiating the study and providing technical expertise, animals, and IONPs to obtain the results shown in Figure 6. This work was supported by NIH grants R01 HL135046, R01 DK117425, and P41 EB015894.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Anemia treatments
  • Cancer therapeutics
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • MRI contrast agents
  • Magnetic fluid hyperthermia
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


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