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Alternating Magnetic Field Controlled, Multifunctional Nano-Reservoirs: Intracellular Uptake and Improved Biocompatibility

Santaneel Ghosh1*, Somesree GhoshMitra2, Tong Cai3, David R Diercks4, Nathaniel C Mills2 and DiAnna L Hynds2

Author affiliations

1 Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Southeast Missouri State University, MS 6600, One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO, 63701, USA

2 Department of Biology, Texas Woman’s University, PO Box 425799, Denton, TX, 76204, USA

3 Department of Physics, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 76203, USA

4 Center of Advancement of Research and Technology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 76207, USA

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 5:195-204  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9465-9

Published: 25 October 2009


Biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles hold great therapeutic potential, but conventional particles can be toxic. Here, we report the synthesis and alternating magnetic field dependent actuation of a remotely controllable, multifunctional nano-scale system and its marked biocompatibility with mammalian cells. Monodisperse, magnetic nanospheres based on thermo-sensitive polymer network poly(ethylene glycol) ethyl ether methacrylate-co-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate were synthesized using free radical polymerization. Synthesized nanospheres have oscillating magnetic field induced thermo-reversible behavior; exhibiting desirable characteristics comparable to the widely used poly-N-isopropylacrylamide-based systems in shrinkage plus a broader volumetric transition range. Remote heating and model drug release were characterized for different field strengths. Nanospheres containing nanoparticles up to an iron concentration of 6 mM were readily taken up by neuron-like PC12 pheochromocytoma cells and had reduced toxicity compared to other surface modified magnetic nanocarriers. Furthermore, nanosphere exposure did not inhibit the extension of cellular processes (neurite outgrowth) even at high iron concentrations (6 mM), indicating minimal negative effects in cellular systems. Excellent intracellular uptake and enhanced biocompatibility coupled with the lack of deleterious effects on neurite outgrowth and prior Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of PEG-based carriers suggest increased therapeutic potential of this system for manipulating axon regeneration following nervous system injury.

Magnetic actuation; Biomaterials; Thermo-sensitive polymers; Nano-biotechnology; Biocompatibility; Neuron