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The research will be focused on the synthesis and characterization of novel magnetic (spinel ferrites) and magnetic-plasmonic (ferrite/gold core-shell and heterodimer) nanomaterials with both diagnostic and therapeutic functionality. The diagnostic action will be realized by NMR imaging or, for magnetic-plasmonic nano-heterodimers, via optical imaging; the therapeutic action will be pursued by exploiting the heat release capability of the magnetic component (hyperthermia) and in situ cytotoxic drug release. The main aim is the identification of the most promising materials for the proposed clinical applications. The realization of such a goal will require the synthesis by colloidal chemistry of numerous nanosystems whose structural, morphological and compositional parameters will be systematically varied and the deep characterization of their magnetic and hyperthermic properties, so as to establish the fundamental criteria for designing materials with the best performances.
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