Magnetic nanoparticles as gene delivery agents: enhanced transfection in the presence of oscillating magnet arrays.

McBain SC, Griesenbach U, Xenariou S, Keramane A, Batich CD, Alton EW, Dobson J

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology. 2008 Oct 8;19(40):405102. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/40/405102. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

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Magnetic nanoparticle-based gene transfection has been shown to be effective in combination with both viral vectors and with non-viral agents. In these systems, therapeutic or reporter genes are attached to magnetic nanoparticles which are then focused to the target site/cells via high-field/high-gradient magnets. The technique has been shown to be efficient and rapid for in vitro transfection and compares well with cationic lipid-based reagents, producing good overall transfection levels with lower doses and shorter transfection times. In spite of its potential advantages (particularly for in vivo targeting), the overall transfection levels do not generally exceed those of other non-viral agents. In order to improve the overall transfection levels while maintaining the advantages inherent in this technique, we have developed a novel, oscillating magnet array system which adds lateral motion to the particle/gene complex in order to promote transfection. Experimental results indicate that the system significantly enhances overall in vitro transfection levels in human airway epithelial cells compared to both static field techniques (p<0.005) and the cationic lipids (p<0.001) tested. In addition, it has the previously demonstrated advantages of magnetofection-rapid transfection times and requiring lower levels of DNA than cationic lipid-based transfection agents. This method shows potential for non-viral gene delivery both in vitro and in vivo.

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