As a core basis, the knowledge of cellular thermal responses is critical to understand the thermal damage mechanism of hyperthermia. In the aid of a cryo-stage system with controlled temperature ranging from −196°C to 125°C, the present work is dedicated to investigate the thermal behaviors of cancer cells (i.e. MCF-7 cells) subject to hyperthermia with a higher heating rate or allied with a rapid cooling procedure. The preliminary results show the following factors: (1) The MCF-7 cells show potential enhanced sensitivity to heat when the heating rate increases from 10 °C/min to 30°C/min; (2) The enhanced degree of thermal damages induced by the higher heating rate is time dependent; (3) The rapid cooling procedure following the hyperthermia would be another effective way to strengthen the killing effects of cancer cells. In addition, further microscopic experiments have also been implemented to observe the morphological changes of cells induced by the rapid heating treatment. The present study partly promotes the mechanistic understandings of cellular damage through an alternative heating approach, which would provide a valuable reference to improve the therapeutic efficiency in the coming time.

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