Ferrite nanoparticles for future heart diagnostics

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Normally, CoFe2O4 has been known as ferromagnetic ferrite with a quite large magnetic moment. However, since we aim to inject the particles into the human body, we are also interested in ZnFe2O 4 because in the human body, Fe and Zn exist, so that adding ZnFe2O4 is safer. In both cases, the nanoparticles are coated by silica in order to get rid of toxicity. Our main purpose is to test whether these nanoparticles affect the contractile function of heart cells. Our results on rat's heart cells have shown that both Zn and Co ferrites improved the contractility of heart cells. Notably, although both nanoparticles increased contraction and delayed relaxation, Co ferrites induced a greater contraction but with a slower relaxation. We can theoretically argue that the magnetization effects of the quantum dots have a considerable effect on the pulsating properties of the heart cells. Through this effect, the locally applied magnetic field is able to induce as well as turn on/off various regular beating patterns, thus, resetting the heart beatings. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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