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Electric field responsive nanotransducers for glioblastoma

Jain, Akhil; Jobson, Isobel; Griffin, Michaela; Rahman, Ruman; Smith, Stuart; Rawson, Frankie J.

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Akhil Jain

Isobel Jobson

Michaela Griffin

Clinical Associate Professor



Electric field therapies such as Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) have emerged as a bioelectronic treatment for isocitrate dehydrogenase wild-type and IDH mutant grade 4 astrocytoma Glioblastoma (GBM). TTFields rely on alternating current (AC) electric fields (EF) leading to the disruption of dipole alignment and induced dielectrophoresis (DEP) during cytokinesis. Although TTFields have a favourable side effect profile, particularly compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy, survival benefits remain limited (~ 4.9 months) after an extensive treatment regime (20 hours/day for 18 months). The cost of the technology also limits its clinical adoption worldwide. Therefore, the discovery of new technology that can enhance both the therapeutic efficiency and efficacy of these TTFields will be of great benefit to cancer treatment and decrease healthcare costs worldwide.


In this work, we report the role of electrically conductive gold (GNPs), dielectric silica oxide (SiO2), and semiconductor zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) as transducers for enhancing EF mediated anticancer effects on patient derived GBM cells. Physicochemical properties of these NPs were analyzed using spectroscopic, electron microscopy, and light-scattering techniques.


In vitro TTFields studies indicated an enhanced reduction in the metabolic activity of patient-derived Glioma INvasive marginal (GIN 28) and Glioma contrast enhanced core (GCE 28) GBM cells in groups treated with NPs vs. control groups, irrespective of NPs dielectric properties. Our results indicate the inorganic NPs used in this work enhance the intracellular EF effects that could be due to the virtue of bipolar dielectrophoretic and electrophoretic effects.


This work presents preliminary evidence which could help to improve future EF applications for bioelectronic medicine. Furthermore, the merits of spherical morphology, excellent colloidal stability, and low toxicity, make these NPs ideal for future studies for elucidating the detailed mechanism and efficacy upon their delivery in GBM preclinical models.


Jain, A., Jobson, I., Griffin, M., Rahman, R., Smith, S., & Rawson, F. J. (2022). Electric field responsive nanotransducers for glioblastoma. Bioelectronic Medicine, 8, Article 17.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 19, 2022
Publication Date Oct 19, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2022
Journal Bioelectronic Medicine
Electronic ISSN 2332-8886
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Article Number 17
Keywords Glioblastoma, Inorganic nanoparticles, Electric Fields, Tumor Treating Fields
Public URL
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