The broad area of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (M-IONP) applications and their exclusive physico-chemical characteristics (superparamagnetic properties per se, solubility and stability in aqueous solutions, and high bioavailability in vivo) make these nanoparticles suitable candidates for biomedical uses. The most employed magnetic iron oxides in the biomedical field are magnetite and maghemite. Cancer represents a complex pathology that implies multiple mechanisms and signaling pathways, this complexity being responsible for the increased resistance to therapy and the lack of an effective curative treatment. A potential useful alternative was considered to be the use of magnetic iron nanoparticles. The M-IONPs proved to be effective as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging, as drug delivery carriers for different therapeutic agents, in magnetic cell separation assays, and are suitable to be engineered in terms of size, targeted delivery and substance release. Moreover, their in vivo administration was considered safe, and recent studies indicated their efficiency as anticancer agents. This chapter aims to furnish an overview regarding the physico-chemical properties of M-IONPs (mainly magnetite, maghemite and hematite), the synthesis methods and their in vitro biological impact on healthy and cancer cell lines, by describing their potential mechanism of action—enucleation, apoptosis or other mechanisms.
Part of the book: Iron Ores and Iron Oxide Materials
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) represent a category of diseases characterized by intestinal inflammation and include two main entities, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, one of the representative clinical characteristics of which being chronic diarrhea. The etiology of these diseases is multifactorial, combining genetic, immunological, and also environmental factors, along with gut dysbiosis. In recent years, we encountered a higher incidence of IBD cases and of severe forms of disease. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new and efficient treatments, including strategies to improve the microbiome. In this chapter, we will discuss the current knowledge about the impact of different therapies influencing gut microbiota, such as prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, and other agents in IBD prevention, and also in the induction/maintenance of IBD remission. The manuscript will focus also on potential areas for research in the future using agents that modify intestinal microbiota and combined strategies.
Part of the book: Benign Anorectal Disorders