Alameda, CA August 11, 2021 – Magnetic Insight has installed a localized magnetic theranostic system at Johns Hopkins University to support an National Institutes of Health-funded project to develop precision-guided magnetic fluid hyperthermia.

Magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) is currently used in conjunction with radiation therapy to treat glioblastoma, an exceptionally aggressive and lethal form of brain cancer. MFH involves introducing magnetic nanoparticles to the treatment area and using an external magnetic field to activate the magnetic particles in the region of interest. This activation results in a localized heating effect. However, currently approved technologies cannot measure how many magnetic particles are in the treatment region. As a result, control of local heating is less targeted, making treatments less effective.

A collaborative project headed by Dr. Robert Ivkov and Dr. Jeff W.M. Bulte proposes to use magnetic particle imaging (MPI) to measure magnetic nanoparticle concentrations in the tumor and fine-tune the spatial orientation of heating using magnetic particle imaging (MPI). MPI is a recent addition to the molecular imaging field, and it is the only available in vivo technology that can directly image magnetic nanoparticles. Unrelated to MRI, MPI quantitatively detects magnetic nanoparticles anywhere in the body with exceptional sensitivity and specificity. With its unique technical capabilities, MPI enables novel applications such as the systemic tracking of adoptive cell therapies, quantifying inflammation, and measuring vascular function.

Magnetic Insight’s HYPERTM system installation provides a foundational technology platform to develop a system for localized MFH in small animals. This research tool has applications in MFH, magnetic thermal ablation, drug release, and cell activation models. The goal of the NIH-funded research project is to combine MPI with HYPER for precise prescription and control of MFH heat deposition, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of this novel capability in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer.

“It is exciting to work with the Johns Hopkins team to demonstrate how combining MPI and localized MFH can improve cancer treatment,” says Patrick Goodwill, CTO and CEO of Magnetic Insight.

Dr. Ivkov, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is the lead principal investigator for the project. His research interests include the development, characterization, and use of nanomaterials to target cancer and to enhance the effectiveness of current therapies such as radiation. He has a particular focus on selective heating with magnetic nanoparticles. Dr. Bulte, Professor of Radiology and Radiologic Science, is co-principal investigator and an expert in cellular imaging and cellular tracking.

The R01 is the original grant mechanism used by NIH and provides support for health-related research and development based on the mission of the NIH. The research reported in this press release is supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01CA257557.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


About Magnetic Insight
Magnetic Insight has pioneered a new diagnostic imaging technology called magnetic particle imaging (MPI) that has the potential to transform medical imaging and healthcare. MPI enables cellular imaging, which goes beyond the structural and metabolic imaging captured by CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine. Having started in the preclinical space by selling small animal products to leading universities worldwide, they are now developing a clinical system. For more information, visit