Tiny magnetic discs could kill cancer cells: study

Tiny magnetic discs just a millionth of a metre in diameter could be used to used to kill cancer cells, according to a study published on Sunday.

Laboratory tests found the so-called "nanodiscs", around 60 billionths of a metre thick, could be used to disrupt the membranes of , causing them to self-destruct.

The discs are made from an iron-nickel alloy, which move when subjected to a magnetic field, damaging the cancer cells, the report published in Nature Materials said.

One of the study's authors, Elena Rozhlova of Argonne National Laboratory in the United States, said subjecting the discs to a low magnetic field for around ten minutes was enough to destroy 90 percent of cancer cells in tests.

In a commentary on the report, Jon Dobson of Keele University in Britain said could be used to direct the discs towards .

"This provides an elegant and rapid technique for targeting tumour destruction without the side effects associated with systemic treatments such as ," Dobson wrote.

(c) 2009 AFP


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Citation: Tiny magnetic discs could kill cancer cells: study (2009, November 29) retrieved 21 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-tiny-magnetic-discs-cancer-cells.html
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Nov 29, 2009
Where do the disks go after the cancer cells are killed, and how do they affect normal cells?

Nov 29, 2009

Terrible article, badly written.

The dics' seem to be used as bullets moved by magnetic fields, not magnetic force from them killing the cells. It's junk like this that is the basis of false claims magnetic fields hurt cells. Likely the 'dics'' are not even magnetized.

Nov 30, 2009
Where do the disks go after the cancer cells are killed, and how do they affect normal cells?


Presumably they are mopped up by the liver, and rapidly corrode into microscopic rust.

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