Materials (Jan 2019)

Nanoheterostructures (NHS) and Their Applications in Nanomedicine: Focusing on In Vivo Studies

  • Alessandra Quarta,
  • Clara Piccirillo,
  • Giacomo Mandriota,
  • Riccardo Di Corato

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
p. 139


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Inorganic nanoparticles have great potential for application in many fields, including nanomedicine. Within this class of materials, inorganic nanoheterostructures (NHS) look particularly promising as they can be formulated as the combination of different domains; this can lead to nanosystems with different functional properties, which, therefore, can perform different functions at the same time. This review reports on the latest development in the synthesis of advanced NHS for biomedicine and on the tests of their functional properties in in vivo studies. The literature discussed here focuses on the diagnostic and therapeutic applications with special emphasis on cancer. Considering the diagnostics, a description of the NHS for cancer imaging and multimodal imaging is reported; more specifically, NHS for magnetic resonance, computed tomography and luminescence imaging are considered. As for the therapeutics, NHS employed in magnetic hyperthermia or photothermal therapies are reported. Examples of NHS for cancer theranostics are also presented, emphasizing their dual usability in vivo, as imaging and therapeutic tools. Overall, NHS show a great potential for biomedicine application; further studies, however, are necessary regarding the safety associated to their use.