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Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(37):6622-34.

Nanomaterials for photohyperthermia: a review.

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  • 1Department of Applied Chemistry, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan.


The unique properties of nanomaterials have propelled the field of nanomedicine. Nanomaterials have been used as drug delivery, imaging, and photothermal agents for diagnosis and therapy of diseases. Recently, photohyperthermia has attracted great interest from researchers and is actively being investigated as an alternative method of therapy for cancer and even bacteria. Photohyperthermia, or photothermal therapy, is the process of a photothermal agent absorbing light and converting it into heat for the destruction of malignant cells, which is due to elevated temperatures. This technique is non-invasive, can target specific diseased cells for minimal adverse side effects, and can be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. In this review, we will discuss different nanomaterials that have been implemented as photothermal agents for the treatment of various cancer and bacterial cells. The review will mainly focus on gold nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes. However, other nanomaterials, such as semiconductor nanoparticles and polymer composites, will be briefly discussed. In addition, the photothermal mechanism, current developments, dual imaging and therapy, and future perspectives of nanoparticle-based photohyperthermia will be presented.

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