Biofunctionalized magnetic-vortex microdiscs for targeted cancer-cell destruction

Dong Hyun Kim, Elena A. Rozhkova, Ilya V. Ulasov, Samuel D. Bader, Tijana Rajh, MacIej S. Lesniak, Valentyn Novosad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

497 Scopus citations


Nanomagnetic materials offer exciting avenues for probing cell mechanics and activating mechanosensitive ion channels, as well as for advancing cancer therapies. Most experimental works so far have used superparamagnetic materials. This report describes a first approach based on interfacing cells with lithographically defined microdiscs that possess a spin-vortex ground state. When an alternating magnetic field is applied the microdisc vortices shift, creating an oscillation, which transmits a mechanical force to the cell. Because reduced sensitivity of cancer cells toward apoptosis leads to inappropriate cell survival and malignant progression, selective induction of apoptosis is of great importance for the anticancer therapeutic strategies. We show that the spin-vortex-mediated stimulus creates two dramatic effects: compromised integrity of the cellular membrane, and initiation of programmed cell death. A low-frequency field of a few tens of hertz applied for only ten minutes was sufficient to achieve ̃90% cancer-cell destruction in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalNature materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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