Hyperthermia therapy is a medical treatment based on the exposition of body tissue to slightly higher temperatures than physiological (i.e.
, between 41 and 46 °C) to damage and kill cancer cells or to make them more susceptible to the effects of radiation and anti-cancer drugs. Among several methods suitable for heating tumor areas, magnetic hyperthermia involves the introduction of magnetic micro/nanoparticles into the tumor tissue, followed by the application of an external magnetic field at fixed frequency and amplitude. A very interesting approach for magnetic hyperthermia is the use of biocompatible thermo-responsive magnetic gels made by the incorporation of the magnetic particles into cross-linked polymer gels. Mainly because of the hysteresis loss from the magnetic particles subjected to a magnetic field, the temperature of the system goes up and, once the temperature crosses the lower critical solution temperature, thermo-responsive gels undergo large volume changes and may deliver anti-cancer drug molecules that have been previously entrapped in their networks. This tutorial review describes the main properties and formulations of magnetic gel composites conceived for magnetic hyperthermia therapy.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.