Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for imaging, targeting and treatment of primary and metastatic tumors of the brain

Liron L. Israel, Anna Galstyan, Eggehard Holler, Julia Y. Ljubimova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Magnetic nanoparticles in general, and iron oxide nanoparticles in particular, have been studied extensively during the past 20 years for numerous biomedical applications. The main applications of these nanoparticles are in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic targeting, gene and drug delivery, magnetic hyperthermia for tumor treatment, and manipulation of the immune system by macrophage polarization for cancer treatment. Recently, considerable attention has been paid to magnetic particle imaging (MPI) because of its better sensitivity compared to MRI. In recent years, MRI and MPI have been combined as a dual or multimodal imaging method to enhance the signal in the brain for the early detection and treatment of brain pathologies. Because magnetic and iron oxide nanoparticles are so diverse and can be used in multiple applications such as imaging or therapy, they have attractive features for brain delivery. However, the greatest limitations for the use of MRI/MPI for imaging and treatment are in brain delivery, with one of these limitations being the brain-blood barrier (BBB). This review addresses the current status, chemical compositions, advantages and disadvantages, toxicity and most importantly the future directions for the delivery of iron oxide based substances across the blood-brain barrier for targeting, imaging and therapy of primary and metastatic tumors of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors


  • Brain tumor
  • Imaging
  • Iron oxide
  • Magnetic targeting
  • Therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for imaging, targeting and treatment of primary and metastatic tumors of the brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this