A magnetic switch for the control of cell death signalling in in vitro and in vivo systems
The regulation of cellular activities in a controlled manner is one of the most challenging issues in fields ranging from cell biology to biomedicine. Nanoparticles have the potential of becoming useful tools for controlling cell signalling pathways in a space and time selective fashion. We have developed magnetic nanoparticles that turn on apoptosis cell signalling by using a magnetic field in a remote and non-invasive manner. The magnetic switch consists of zinc-doped iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles(Zn0.4Fe2.6O4), conjugated with a targeting antibody for death receptor 4 (DR4) of DLD-1 colon cancer cells. The magnetic switch, in its On mode when a magnetic field is applied to aggregate magnetic nanoparticle-bound DR4s, promotes apoptosis signalling pathways. We have also demonstrated that the magnetic switch is operable at the micrometre scale and that it can be applied in an in vivo system where apoptotic morphological changes of zebrafish are successfully induced.
Nature Materials, 2012, 11(12), pp 1038-1043 Oct. 7, 2012