Aurore Van de Walle

Laboratory Physical Chemistry Curie (PCC), Curie Institute and CNRS

From dissolution to biosynthesis of magnetic nanoparticles in human cells

The physicochemical features of magnetic nanoparticles make them useful tools for a spectrum of biomedical applications, ranging from cancer treatment via hyperthermia to tissue engineering through magnetic bioprinting. A pre-requisite to these applications is the internalization of nanoparticles within human cells, raising the question of their fate in the biological environment. Magnetometry techniques offer a way to explore their biotransformations in cellulo and have revealed that these nanoparticles can undergo dissolution and subsequent assimilation by the natural iron metabolism of cells. Remarkably, under specific conditions, the production of new magnetic nanoparticles – fully biological – can arise from the released iron ions. These results underscore the intricate dynamics of iron cellular processes.