The art of attraction: Applications of multifunctional magnetic nanomaterials for malignant glioma

Michelle L. Wegscheid, Ramin A. Morshed, Yu Cheng, MacIej S. Lesniak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: Malignant gliomas remain one of medicine's most daunting unsolved clinical problems. The development of new technologies is urgently needed to improve the poor prognosis of patients suffering from these brain tumors. Magnetic nanomaterials are appealing due to unique properties that allow for noninvasive brain tumor diagnostics and therapeutics in one multifunctional platform. Areas covered: We report on the recent advances of magnetic nanomaterials for brain tumor imaging and therapy, with an emphasis on novel approaches and clinical progress. We detail their biomedical applications including brain tumor targeting, MRI contrast enhancement, optical imaging, magnetic hyperthermia, magnetomechanical destruction, drug delivery, gene therapy, as well as tracking of cell-based and viral-based therapies. The clinical cases and obstacles encountered in the use of magnetic nanomaterials for malignant glioma are also examined. Expert opinion: To accelerate the effective translation of these materials to the clinic as theranostics for brain tumors, limitations such as poor intratumoral distribution, targeting efficiency and nonspecific systemic side effects must be addressed. Future innovations should focus on optimizing and combining the unique therapeutic applications of these magnetic nanomaterials as well as improving the selectivity of the system based on the molecular profiling of tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-975
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Contrast agent
  • Drug delivery
  • Gene therapy
  • Magnetic hyperthermia
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Malignant glioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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