Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for medical application: still a challenging task for materials research


Event details

Date 18.12.2017
Hour 13:1514:15
Speaker Prof. Heinrich Hofmann, EPFL
Category Conferences - Seminars

Iron oxide nanoparticles have been in development for medical applications for more than 20 years. In the mean time, several products were on the market and used in clinics as a contrast agent for MRI or as a drug for the successful treatment of anemia. For economic reasons, iron oxide as a contrast agent disappeared from the market, because it was only accredited for the imaging of liver. Today the most useful development of superparamagnetic iron oxide is, besides imaging, in the field of magnetic fluid hyperthermia. Particles injected locally into the tumor are efficient heat sources if an external alternate magnetic field is applied. To bring iron oxide nanoparticles to the clinics,  properties like saturation magnetization, magnetic anisotropy, colloidal stability, biocompatibility and especially  targeting has to be strongly improved. In addition to these parameters, biological properties like biodistribution and residence time have to be adapted to the clinical needs. All these properties can only be improved if the behavior of the particles is well understood, both from the physical as well as the biological side.

In this talk, a short introduction of the state of the art will be given, followed by an analysis of the gaps still existing, including some propositions for how to overcome them. The focus of the talk will be the physico-chemical properties and, in addition to typically materials developments, the impact of translational research on materials development will be highlighted.
Controlling structural and magnetic properties of IONPs by aqueous synthesis for improved hyperthermia
By: Bonvin, Debora; Arakcheeva, Alla; Millan, Angel; et al.,
RSC ADVANCES   Volume: 7   Issue: 22   Pages: 13159-13170   Published: 2017
Assessing the In Vitro and In Vivo Toxicity of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles,  Mahmoudi, Morteza; Hofmann, Heinrich; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; et al.
CHEMICAL REVIEWS   Volume: 112   Issue: 4   Pages: 2323-2338   Published: APR 2012
Nanoparticles in medicine: Current challenges facing inorganic nanoparticle toxicity assessments and standardizations,  Hofmann-Amtenbrink, Margarethe; Grainger, David W.; Hofmann, Heinrich
NANOMEDICINE-NANOTECHNOLOGY BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE   Volume: 11   Issue: 7   Pages: 1689-1694  Published: OCT 2015

Bio: Hofmann Heinrich, studied first foundry engineering at the Applied University of Duisburg followed by a study of Material Science and Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin. 1983 he got his PhD in Material Science with a thesis prepared at the Powder Metallurgy Laboratory at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart. Between 1983 and 1985, he was senior scientist at MPI working on novel hard metals.  In 1985 he joined the R&D center of Alusuisse-Lonza, at Neuhausen-am-Rheinfall, developing new ceramic powders. In 1993 he joined EPFL, his research area includes the synthesis of nanostructured materials based on nanoparticles and the modification of surfaces with nanoparticles using colloidal methods. Main topics of his research today are synthesis and functionalisation of nanoparticles for medical applications He is member of several professional organizations as well as of the “European Academy for Technology Assesment” and Member of the Swiss working group “Nanoregulation”. Since 2014 he is advisor for nanotechnology at the Human Medicines Expert Committee of the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, Swissmedic.


Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • Esther Amstad & Vaso Tileli


  • Esther Amstad & Vaso Tileli

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