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.
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