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Magnetic Targeting of Growth Factors Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

Faculty of Engineering, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Bar Ilan Institute of Nanotechnologies and Advanced Materials, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Department of Chemistry, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Department of Neurosurgery, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Department of Physics, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 707;
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles in Biological Applications)
PDF [3910 KB, uploaded 18 September 2018]


Growth factors play an important role in nerve regeneration and repair. An attractive drug delivery strategy, termed “magnetic targeting”, aims to enhance therapeutic efficiency by directing magnetic drug carriers specifically to selected cell populations that are suitable for the nervous tissues. Here, we covalently conjugated nerve growth factor to iron oxide nanoparticles (NGF-MNPs) and used controlled magnetic fields to deliver the NGF–MNP complexes to target sites. In order to actuate the magnetic fields a modular magnetic device was designed and fabricated. PC12 cells that were plated homogenously in culture were differentiated selectively only in targeted sites out of the entire dish, restricted to areas above the magnetic “hot spots”. To examine the ability to guide the NGF-MNPs towards specific targets in vivo, we examined two model systems. First, we injected and directed magnetic carriers within the sciatic nerve. Second, we injected the MNPs intravenously and showed a significant accumulation of MNPs in mouse retina while using an external magnet that was placed next to one of the eyes. We propose a novel approach to deliver drugs selectively to injured sites, thus, to promote an effective repair with minimal systemic side effects, overcoming current challenges in regenerative therapeutics. View Full-Text
Keywords: nerve growth factor; magnetic nanoparticles; neuronal regeneration; magnetic targeting; sciatic nerve injury nerve growth factor; magnetic nanoparticles; neuronal regeneration; magnetic targeting; sciatic nerve injury

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Marcus, M.; Smith, A.; Maswadeh, A.; Shemesh, Z.; Zak, I.; Motiei, M.; Schori, H.; Margel, S.; Sharoni, A.; Shefi, O. Magnetic Targeting of Growth Factors Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticles. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 707.

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