Biofunctionalization of Magnetic Nanomaterials

Nouf Alsharif, Jasmeen Merzaban, Jürgen Kosel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Magnetic nanomaterials have received great attention in different biomedical applications. Biofunctionalizing these nanomaterials with specific targeting agents is a crucial aspect to enhance their efficacy in diagnostics and treatments while minimizing the side effects. The benefit of magnetic nanomaterials compared to non-magnetic ones is their ability to respond to magnetic fields in a contact-free manner and over large distances. This allows to guide or accumulate them, while they can also be monitored. Recently, magnetic nanowires (NWs) with unique features were developed for biomedical applications. The large magnetic moment of these NWs enables a more efficient remote control of their movement by a magnetic field. This has been utilized with great success in cancer treatment, drug delivery, cell tracing, stem cell differentiation or magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, the NW fabrication by template-assisted electrochemical deposition provides a versatile method with tight control over the NW properties. Especially iron NWs and iron-iron oxide (core-shell) NWs are suitable for biomedical applications, due to their high magnetization and low toxicity. In this work, we provide a method to biofunctionalize iron/iron oxide NWs with specific antibodies directed against a specific cell surface marker that is overexpressed in a large number of cancer cells. Since the method utilizes the properties of the iron oxide surface, it is also applicable to superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. The NWs are first coated with 3-aminopropyl-tri-ethoxy-silane (APTES) acting as a linker, which the antibodies are covalently attached to. The APTES coating and the antibody biofunctionalization are proven by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and zeta potential measurements. In addition, the antigenicity of the antibodies on the NWs is tested by using immunoprecipitation and western blot. The specific targeting of the biofunctionalized NWs and their biocompatibility are studied by confocal microscopy and a cell viability assay.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number161
StatePublished - Jul 17 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Research reported in this publication was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


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