Piezo-therapy in cancer: Current research and perspectives

Attilio Marino1,*, Gianni Ciofani1,2,*

1Smart Bio-Interfaces, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, Pontedera (Pisa), 56025 Italy

2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino, 10129 Italy

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2018.2192

Publication Date (Web): Oct 26, 2018

E-mail: attilio.marino@iit.it, gianni.ciofani@iit.it


In this article, we introduce the innovative nanotechnological approach of remote electric stimulation mediated by ultrasound-sensitive piezoelectric nanoparticles, especially focusing on its exploitation in the nanomedicine field for the “wireless” anticancer electric treatment. The nanoparticle functionalization with specific ligands allows the targeting, imaging, and ultimately the treatment of cancer cells. Piezoelectric stimulation can be performed in remote modality with ultrasound waves by virtue of the direct piezoelectric effect. Chronic piezo-stimulation is able to remarkably decrease cancer cell growth by inducing the cell cycle arrest in G0/G1phase and by affecting the cytoskeleton organization during cell division. The reported results indicate an impressive potential impact of this nanotechnological approach, that will be further tested in future works in synergic combination with chemotherapy treatment.


Piezoelectric nanoparticles, cancer therapy, chemotherapy, electric stimulation.

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