<p>This work reports the potential of iron quantum clusters (FeQCs) as a hyperthermia agent for cancer, by testing its in-vitro response to shortwave (MHz range), radiofrequency (RF) waves non-invasively. Stable, fluorescent FeQCs of size ∼1 nm prepared by facile aqueous chemistry from endogenous protein haemoglobin were found to give a high thermal response, with a ΔT ∼50 °C at concentrationsas low as165 μg/mL. The as-prepared nanoclusters purified by lyophilization as well as dialysis showed a concentration, power and time-dependent RF response, with the lyophilized FeQCs exhibiting pronounced heating effects. FeQCs were found to be cytocompatible to NIH-3T3 fibroblast and 4T1 cancer cells treated at concentrations upto 1000 μg/mL for 24 h. Upon incubation with FeQCs and exposure to RF waves, significant cancer cell death was observed which proves its therapeutic ability. The fluorescent ability of the clusters could additionally be utilized for imaging cancer cells upon excitation at ∼450 nm. Further, to demonstrate the feasibility of imparting additional functionality such as drug/biomolecule/dye loading to FeQCs, they were self assembled with cationic polymers to form nanoparticles. Self assembly did not alter the RF heating potential of FeQCs and additionally enhanced its fluorescence. The multifunctional fluorescent FeQCs therefore show good promise as a novel therapeutic agent for RF hyperthermia and drug loading.</p>
A. Jose, Surendran, M., Fazal, S., Prasanth, B. - P., and Menon, D., “Multifunctional fluorescent iron quantum clusters for non-invasive radiofrequency ablationof cancer cells.”, Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces, vol. 165, pp. 371-380, 2018.