• apoptosis;
  • C/Fe;
  • drug release;
  • magnetic nanoparticles;
  • radio frequency


Few-layer, carbon-coated, iron (C/Fe) magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized with controlled sizes ranging from 7 to 9 nm. The additional loading of two anti-cancer drugs, doxorubicin and erlotinib, was achieved through – stacking onto the carbon shells. Controlled release of the drugs was successfully triggered by radio frequency (RF) heating or pH variation. Based on the experimental results, C/Fe MNPs act as heat-inducing agents and are able to thermally destroy cancer cells when RF is applied. It was found that the combination of anti-cancer drugs (in particular a low dose of doxorubicin) and RF treatment demonstrates a synergistic effect in inducing cell death in pancreatic cancer cells. Our findings demonstrate that MNPs can be used as highly efficient multimodal nanocarrier agents for an integrated approach to cancer treatment involving triggered delivery of antineoplastic drugs and RF-induced thermal therapy.