NSTI Nanotech 2009

Targeted thermal elimination of cancer using radiofrequency heating of gold nanoparticles

P. Cherukuri, C. Moran, S. Curley
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, US

Keywords: nanoparticle, heating, cancer, cure


We show that aqueous suspensions of solid gold nanoparticles absorb shortwave radiofrequency energy (13.56 MHz) and produce heat (> 70 C) that can be used to destroy cancer cells. The thermal efficiency (~ 300,000 W/g) associated with RF heating of gold nanoparticles far exceeds other nanoparticle heating methods that utilize optical energy or alternating magnetic fields. Gold nanoparticles internalized within 3 different human cancer cell types were exposed to 2 min of RF energy, and the heat induces cancer cell death within 48 hrs. We have also found that antibody targeted gold nanoparticles specifically bind and internalize within cancer cells which are then heated using RF fields. The combination of whole body penetration of RF fields and the stunning thermal response of gold nanoparticles demonstrates the potential for treating deep tissue tumors without surgery or metabolically active chemicals.
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