Magnetic nanoparticle and magnetic field assisted siRNA delivery in vitro

Olga Mykhaylyk, Yolanda Sanchez-Antequera, Dialechti Vlaskou, Maria Belen Cerda, Mehrdad Bokharaei, Edelburga Hammerschmid, Martina Anton, Christian Plank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This chapter describes how to design and conduct experiments to deliver siRNA to adherent cell cultures in vitro by magnetic force-assisted transfection using self-assembled complexes of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and cationic lipids or polymers that are associated with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). These magnetic complexes are targeted to the cell surface by the application of a gradient magnetic field. A further development of the magnetic drug-targeting concept is combining it with an ultrasound-triggered delivery using magnetic microbubbles as a carrier for gene or drug delivery. For this purpose, selected MNPs, phospholipids, and siRNAs are assembled in the presence of perfluorocarbon gas into flexible formulations of magnetic lipospheres (microbubbles). Methods are described how to accomplish the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles for magnetofection and how to test the association of siRNA with the magnetic components of the transfection vector. A simple method is described to evaluate magnetic responsiveness of the magnetic siRNA transfection complexes and estimate the complex loading with magnetic nanoparticles. Procedures are provided for the preparation of magnetic lipoplexes and polyplexes of siRNA as well as magnetic microbubbles for magnetofection and downregulation of the target gene expression analysis with account for the toxicity determined using an MTT-based respiration activity test. A modification of the magnetic transfection triplexes with INF-7, fusogenic peptide, is described resulting in reporter gene silencing improvement in HeLa, Caco-2, and ARPE-19 cells. The methods described can also be useful for screening vector compositions and novel magnetic nanoparticle preparations for optimized siRNA transfection by magnetofection in any cell type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-106
Number of pages54
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
StatePublished - 2015


  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Magnetic transfection vectors
  • Microbubble
  • SiRNA delivery in vitro
  • Sonoporation


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