Dr. Carlos Rinaldi, professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida, has been selected to receive the International Journal of Nanomedicine Early Career Scientist Award. This annual award is presented to a scientist in the early stage of his/her career (less than 10 years after receiving a Ph.D.) who has made significant contributions to the field of nanomedicine. According to the selection committee for the award, “This year was the most competitive year ever, which literally required months of deliberations.”
Rinaldi has made significant contributions to bionanomedicine by advancing biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles, specifically cancer treatment through magnetic fluid hyperthermia. In this novel form of treatment, magnetic nanoparticles subjected to high frequency and moderate amplitude magnetic fields dissipate energy locally and result in cancer cell death. Most recently, Rinaldi’s group has demonstrated that receptor targeted magnetic nanoparticles internalized in cancer cells can result in significant reductions in cell viability in an alternating magnetic field, without a perceptible temperature rise. This demonstration challenges the paradigm that for magnetic nanoparticles to be effective in killing cancer cells, they must release sufficient heat to raise the tissue temperature to the hyperthermia range. Rinaldi’s demonstration that targeted particles are effective without the need of raising the bulk temperature is important as it opens the door to application of magnetic fluid hyperthermia in small tumors and metastatic lesions where raising the tissue temperature is difficult.