The use of heat as a means of treatment for various diseases dates back to very ancient times. A well-known Greek philosopher and scientist Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC), who is considered as the ‘father of medicine’, stated that a disease must be incurable if it could not be cured by using heat. He even went on to successfully treat breast tumors with heat . Interestingly, two millennia later, nanotechnology is aiding much of the development of modern hyperthermia. A number of nanoparticles (such as iron oxide, gold and carbon-based nanoparticles ) have been developed and employed as the heating agents. These nanoparticles can be either surface-functionalized to target tumors or directly incorporated into tumors where they are externally illuminated by microwave or optical radiation to generate heat. Among various heat-generating nanoparticles, iron-oxide-based magnetic beads show the most promising future to be approved for clinical applications .
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