Interaction between electromagnetic fields and nanoparticles

nanoparticlesAccording to an estimate of the World Health Organization, about 12 million new cancer cases and about 8 million deaths have occurred in 2008. Currently, radical resection of the tumor, in the earliest stages of development, represents the only way to cure this disease. It often happens that metastases are already present at diagnosis; thus only few patients can undergo radical resection, while chemo and radiotherapies are necessary. As widely recognized, chemotherapy affects all rapidly dividing cells, including healthy cells, with harmful consequences for the organism as a whole. For this reason, it is crucial to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for cancer diagnosis in the earliest stages of development, and selectively target cancer cells with chemotherapeutic drugs without affecting healthy cells. Emerging methods for detecting and treating cancer are based on the combined use of electromagnetic fields and nanoparticles.

In this context, the activities of the IREA researchers, thanks to the expertise in both engineering and biology, aim to study the interactions between electromagnetic fields at microwave frequency and nanoparticles in order to propose new strategies to increase the sensitivity of microwave imaging and the selectivity of the microwave thermal therapy. In developing these new approaches, a key aspect to be taken into account from the beginning is the verification of the absence of cytotoxicity of nanoparticles. The latter aspect is addressed by evaluating the cytotoxic effects in human cell lines, from both healthy and cancer tissues, by applying very sensitive and well standardized biological procedures.

Additional Info

ISI Journal

O. Zeni, R. Palumbo, R. Bernini, L. Zeni, M. Sarti, MR Scarfì, "Cytotoxicity of single-wall nanotubes on cultured human lymphocytes", Sensors,  8, 485-496, 2008.

S. Romeo, L. Di Donato, O.M. Bucci, I. Catapano, L. Crocco, M.R. Scarfì. R. Massa, "Dielectric Characterization Study Of Liquidbased Materials for Mimicking Breast Tissues", Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, 53, 1276-1280, 2011 - ISSN: 0895-2477, doi: 10.1002/mop.26001

O. Zeni, MR Scarfì, "DNA damage by carbon nanotubes using the single cell gel electrophoresis technique". In “Carbon Nanotubes: Methods and Protocols”. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 625, pp. 109-119. Humana Press Inc. – K. Balasubramanian and M. Burghard Editors, 2010.

International conference

S. Romeo, L. Di Donato, I. Catapano, L. Crocco, MR Scarfì, R. Massa, " Broadband characterization of Tryton X-100-based solutions for breast cancer mimickung" BEMS 33nd Annual Meeting, Halifax, Canada, June 12-17, 2011

Proceedings of national conference

O. Zeni, A. Sannino, S. Romeo, MR Scarfì, S. Bellucci, F. Micciulla, I. Sacco, L. Coderoni, "Cytotoxicity of Buckypaper in Human Lymphocytes" in Sensors and Microsystems: AISEM 2010 Proceedings (Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering).

Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II" - Dipartimento di Biomedica, Elettronica e delle Telecomunicazioni

Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II" - Dipartimento di Fisica

INFN - Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati