Magnetic particles with perpendicular anisotropy for mechanical cancer cell destruction

10 Aug 2017

We demonstrate the effectiveness of out-of-plane magnetized magnetic microdiscs for cancer treatment through mechanical cell disruption under an applied rotating magnetic field. The magnetic particles are synthetic antiferromagnets formed from a repeated motif of ultrathin CoFeB/Pt layers. In-vitro studies on glioma cells are used to compare the efficiency of the CoFeB/Pt microdiscs with Py vortex microdiscs. It is found that the CoFeB/Pt microdiscs are able to damage 62 ± 3% of cancer cells compared with 12 ± 2% after applying a 10 kOe rotating field for one minute. The torques applied by each type of particle are measured and are shown to match values predicted by a simple Stoner-Wohlfarth anisotropy model, giving maximum values of 20 fNm for the CoFeB/Pt and 75 fNm for the Py vortex particles. The symmetry of the anisotropy is argued to be more important than the magnitude of the torque in causing effective cell destruction in these experiments. This work shows how future magnetic particles can be successfully designed for applications requiring control of applied torques.