Martins, M.L.; Saeki, M.J.; Telling, M.T.F.; Parra, J.P.R.L.L.; Landsgesell, S.; Smith, R.I.; Bordallo, H.N.: Development and characterization of a new bio-nanocomposite (bio-NCP) for diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Journal of Alloys and Compounds 584 (2014), p. 514-519

Breast cancer is a public health problem throughout the world. Moreover, breast cancer cells have a great affinity for hydroxyapatite, leading to a high occurrence of bone metastasis. In this work we developed a bio-nanocomposite (bio-NCP) in order to use such affinity in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The bio-NCP consists of magnetic nanoparticles of Mn and Zn ferrite inside a polymeric coating (chitosan) modified with nanocrystals of apatite. The materials were characterized with synchrotron X-ray Powder Diffraction (XPD), Time-of-Flight Neutron Powder Diffraction (NPD), Fourier Transformed Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and magnetic measurement with a Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS). We obtained ferrite nanoparticles with a high inversion degree of the spinel structure regarding the Fe and Mn, but with all the Zn in the A site. The coating of such nanoparticles with chitosan had no notable effects to the ferrite microstructure. In addition, the polymeric surface can be easily modified with apatite nanocrystals since the hydration of the bio-NCP during synthesis can be controlled. The resulting bio-NCP presents a spherical shape with a narrow size distribution and high magnetic response at room temperature and is a very promising material for early diagnosis of breast cancer and its treatment.