Magnetic Drug Targeting

November 29, 2005
Location: Nuclear Medicine Library at VGHJim Pattison Pavilion, 855 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver
Presenter: Dr. Urs Hfeli, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC

Magnetic targeting, the delivery of drugs or radioactivity by means of magnetically responsive drug carriers that can be injected into the blood supply of a patient and then directed with an external strong magnetic field towards a target organ, e.g., tumor, has long been an exciting idea. Improvements in magnets; magnetic materials; preparation of homogeneous, biocompatible microspheres and nanospheres; the chemistry of polymer coatings, conjugation and radiolabeling methods; and also new imaging techniques have all come together to make the application of in vivo magnetic targeting possible. An overview of magnetic targeting includes the magnetic carriers that are being used, the factors which must be considered for successful targeting, and the physical characteristics as well as biological/toxicity issues which are involved. Several clinical applications will be presented in detail.

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