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Noble metal nanoparticles have been extensively studied as photo-sensitive agents for photothermal cancer therapy. Precise control over the size and shape of the nanoparticles allowed strong optical absorption and efficient heat generation necessary for destroying a tumor to be achieved. However, one of the fundamental challenges of application of the nanoparticles towards photothermal cancer therapy is low specificity in the targeting tumor tissue in comparison with the healthy tissue and the resulting unfavorable biodistribution of the nanoparticles. Additional levels of control over particle distribution can be achieved by making the particles magnetic and using external magnets to control their accumulation in a tumor. Since the direct synthesis of particles with a magnetic core and a metallic shell limits the options for design and fine-tuning of plasmonic properties, the alternative approaches to the design of such materials have to be investigated. Here we propose and demonstrate a new design of a hybrid plasmono-magnetic material for photothermal heating created by grafting Au nanocages onto a surface of magnetic micro-beads. Next, we confirm its dual functionality in in vitro studies and show that individual hybrid particles can be magnetically controlled with a precision of a few micrometers and precisely destroy individual cells using plasmonic heating.

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RSC Advances, v. 8, issue 5, p. 2660-2666