Investigation of tumour cell apoptosis through superparamagnetic nanoparticle mediated hyperthermia

Project Supervisor: Dr Shane OHehir (

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) based hyperthermia is the process of locally heating tissue with magnetic nanoparticles using an external alternating magnetic field. This technique can be utilised in the in vivo targeted destruction of cancer cells.

Current in vitro investigations regarding cell death and magnetic nanoparticle meditated hyperthermia do not always differentiate between necrotic and apoptotic cell death mechanisms. The primary mode of action leading to apoptosis or necrosis may be a purely physical one, or one that involves an induced biological response.

This project will involve an investigation into the optimisation of nanoparticle heating effect. Nanoparticle heating will be applied to the investigation of apoptotic death rate of tumour cells. AC field exposure time, amplitude and MNP composition and concentration will be varied and corresponding cell assays will be performed.