Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Energy Transfer from Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: Implications for Magnetic Hyperthermia

Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have gained momentum in the field of biomedical applications. They can be remotely heated via alternating magnetic fields, and such heat can be transferred from the IONPs to the local environment. However, the microscopic mechanism of heat transfer is still debated. By X-ray total scattering experiments and first-principles simulations, we show how such heat transfer can occur. After establishing structural and microstructural properties of the maghemite phase of the IONPs, we built a maghemite model functionalized with aminoalkoxysilane, a molecule used to anchor (bio)molecules to oxide surfaces. By a linear response theory approach, we reveal that a resonance mechanism is responsible for the heat transfer from the IONPs to the surroundings. Heat transfer occurs not only via covalent linkages with the IONP but also through the solvent hydrogen-bond network. This result may pave the way to exploit the directional control of the heat flow from the IONPs to the anchored molecules-i.e., antibiotics, therapeutics, and enzymes-for their activation or release in a broader range of medical and industrial applications.

ACS applied nano materials
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Tabacchi, Gloria; Armenia, Ilaria; Bernardini, Giovanni; Masciocchi, Norberto; Guagliardi, Antonietta; Fois, Ettore
Authors IC CNR