Elon Physics alumna publishes first-authored paper in top magnetics journal

Physics major Alison Deatsch ’13 is the first author of a manuscript on magnetic hyperthermia therapeutics published this March in the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials.  The work, coauthored with Assistant Professor of Physics Ben Evans, describes physical mechanisms behind the remote heating of magnetic nanoparticles.

Therapeutic magnetic hyperthermia stands as an attractive alternative to traditional cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.  In magnetic hyperthermia, magnetic nanoparticles would be delivered directly to the site of a tumor and then stimulated remotely with a magnetic field.  The magnetic stimulation may heat the nanoparticles, overheating and killing surrounding tumor cells, or it may stimulate the release of an encapsulated drug.  In either case, the impact on the tumor is maximized while damage to surrounding tissues is minimized.

Deatsch’s manuscript describes the physical mechanisms behind the magnetic heating phenomenon, enabling the design of more effective therapeutic materials in the future.  Her work, conducted over the course of three years at Elon, was supported by the Lumen program and was recognized with an award for outstanding undergraduate research from the NCICU.  Alison presented her work at the annual meetings of the Biophysical Society in 2012 and 2013, and at the Third International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and Nanomaterials in 2013.  She is currently a first-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame and serves as a youth member of Elon’s Board of Trustees.

To view the full text of the article, “Heating efficiency in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia,” click on the link below.