Magnetic nanoparticles, especially superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPIONs), have attracted tremendous attention for various biomedical applications. Facile synthesis and functionalization together with easy control of the size and shape of SPIONS to customize their unique properties, have made it possible to develop different types of SPIONs tailored for diverse functions/applications. More recently, considerable attention has been paid to the thermal effect of SPIONs for the treatment of diseases like cancer and for nanowarming of cryopreserved/banked cells, tissues, and organs. In this mini-review, recent advances on the magnetic heating effect of SPIONs for magnetothermal therapy and enhancement of cryopreservation of cells, tissues, and organs, are discussed, together with the non-magnetic heating effect (i.e., high Intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU-activated heating) of SPIONs for cancer therapy. Furthermore, challenges facing the use of magnetic nanoparticles in these biomedical applications are presented.

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