Nanoparticle Imaging & Theranostics

A distinct advantage of choosing magnetic nanoparticles is the transparency of tissue to magnetic fields permitting detection, localization, manipulation and thermal activation of nanoparticles within the body. There are many potential diagnostic and therapy applications such as study of cell biophysics, novel bio-assays and bio-forensics, drug delivery, detection and removal of bio-toxins, and advanced theranostics.

Our research focuses on development of novel nanoparticle sensing and imaging technologies based on SQUID sensors for detecting early signs of acute graft rejection in organ transplantation, myocardial tissue injury, and to characterize vulnerable plaque. We use COMSOL modeling to design and optimize practical implementations of new high magnetic gradient devices for more precise targeting of magnetic nanocarriers in human and animal models.

A custom-built scanning SQUID system is employed for magnetic measurements in an unshielded laboratory environment for imaging the minute magnetic field perturbations associated with the biocompatible nanoparticles.

Unlike other heating sources, e.g. optical fibers, radiofrequency and microwave probes, and antennas, various nanoparticles show remarkable heating effects by converting the electromagnetic energy into heat when exposed to an external electrical or magnetic field. When exposed to alternating magnetic fields magnetic nanoparticles will heat up and induce cytotoxic hyperthermia in a tumor which can be a useful treatment option for destruction of many malignancies, both primary and metastatic lesions, as well as solid cancers.

Our research focuses on characterization of nanoparticles for magnetic hyperthermia applications and development of techniques to improve the therapeutic modality on a cellular level.


  • Cervadoro A, Cho M, Key J, Cooper C, Stigliano C, Aryal S, Brazdeikis A, Leary JF, Decuzzi P., Synthesis of Multifunctional Magnetic NanoFlakes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Hyperthermia, and Targeting, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Aug 13;6(15):12939-46. doi: 10.1021/am504270c.
  • Supparesk Rittikulsittichai, Burapol Singhana, William W. Bryan, Subhasis Sarangi, Andrew C. Jamison, Audrius Brazdeikis and T. Randall Lee, “Preparation, characterization, and utilization of multi-functional magnetic-fluorescent composites for bio-imaging and magnetic hyperthermia therapy”, RSC Advances 2013, 3, 7838-7849. DOI: 10.1039/C3RA41002A (Electronic version online)
  • Cervadoro A, Giverso C, Pande R, Sarangi S, Preziosi L, Wosik J, Brazdeikis A, Decuzzi P, “Design Maps for the Hyperthermic Treatment of Tumors with Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles”,
    PLoS ONE 8(2): e57332. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057332 (Electronic version online)
  • Dana E Gheorghe, Lili Cui, Christof Karmonik, Audrius Brazdeikis, Jose M Penaloza, Rebekah A Drezek, and Malavosklish Bikram, “Gold-Silver Alloy Nanoshells: A New Candidate for Nanotherapeutics and Diagnostics”, Nanoscale Research Letters 2011 Oct 13;6:554. (Electronic version online)
  • S. Sarangi, I. C. Tan, and A. Brazdeikis, “Brownian relaxation of interacting magnetic particles in a colloid subjected to a pulsatile magnetic field”, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 11 (5), pp. 4136-4141 (2011).
  • S. Sarangi, I. C. Tan, and A. Brazdeikis, “Magnetic Imaging Method Based on Magnetic Relaxation of Magnetic Nanoparticles”, Journal of Applied Physics, 105 (9), pp. 093926-5 (2009).
  • Gyu Leem, Subhasis Sarangi, Shishan Zhang, Irene Rusakova, Audrius Brazdeikis, Dmitri Litvinov, and T. Randall Lee, “Surfactant-Controlled Size and Shape Evolution of Magnetic Nanoparticles”, Journal of Crystal Growth and Design, 9 (1), pp 32–34 (2009).
  • I.-C Tan and A. Brazdeikis, “Novel Biomagnetic Sensing Technique for Characterization of Inflammatory Tissues”, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, 46 (6), 2409-2411, (2007).

Our Collaborators
Our internal faculty collaborators: T. Randall Lee, Ph.D (UH Chemistry) and Malavosklish (Liz) Bikram, Ph.D. (UH Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences). Our external faculty collaborators: Paolo Decuzzi, Ph.D (The Methodist Hospital Research Institute) and Lon J. Wilson Ph.D (Rice University).

Project Status
This project is currently active

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