Today's drug-delivery word of the day is "magnetofection," which essentially is the use of magnetic fields to build up a concentration of magnetic nanoparticles, each containing nucleic acids, and guide them into target cells. Michael Berger, writing in Nanowerk, discusses a particular kind of magnetic nanoparticle called the superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION) that he says is emerging as a promising candidate for targeted gene delivery using magnetofection.
Berger writes about successful use of magnetofection in Australia to fight malaria. Researcher Ross Coppel and colleagues at Monash University used magnetofection to enhance delivery of a malaria DNA vaccine. They used vectors composed of SPIONs and PEI polymer.
"The procedure resulted in stable particles with a narrow size range in aqueous media, rendering them suitable for gene delivery systems," Coppel told Nanowerk. "The cellular uptake of SPIONs/PEI/DNA also increased dramatically with application of external magnetic field during the gene transfection process."
In vivo trials are now under way, Nanowerk reports.