Controlled drug release under a low frequency magnetic field: effect of the citrate coating on magnetoliposomes stability

Silvia Nappini, Massimo Bonini, Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Francesco Pineider, Claudio Sangregorio, Piero Baglioni, Bengt Nordèn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The paper describes the effect of a low-frequency alternating magnetic field (LF-AMF) on the permeability and release properties of large (LUVs) and giant (GUVs) unilamellar vesicles loaded with citrate coated cobalt ferrite nanoparticles (NPs). The citrate shell allows a high loading of NPs in lipid vesicles without modifying their magnetic properties. The increase of magnetic LUVs permeability upon exposure to LF-AMF has been evaluated as the fluorescence self-quenching of carboxyfluorescein (CF) entrapped inside the liposome aqueous pool. Liposome leakage has been monitored as a function of field frequency, time exposure and concentration of the citrate coated NPs. Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) experiments performed on magnetic GUVs labeled with the fluorescent probe DiIC18 and loaded with Alexa 488-C5-maleimide fluorescent dye provided insights on the release mechanism induced by LF-AMF. The results show that LF-AMF strongly affects vesicles permeability, suggesting the formation of pores in the lipid bilayer due to both hyperthermic effects and nanoparticle oscillations in the vesicles pool at the applied frequency. The behaviour of these magnetic vesicles in the presence of LF-AMF makes this system a good candidate for controlled drug delivery. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1037
Number of pages13
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Financial support from CSGI and MIUR-PRIN 2008 is acknowledged. We thank Debora Berti and Al Kayal Tamer for their helpful advices for GUVs preparation and Professor R. Udisti and F. Rugi for ICP-OES experiments. Katarina Edwards is also gratefully acknowledged for Cryo-TEM images of magnetoliposomes and Dr C. Innocenti for scientific discussion. B.N. acknowledges a King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Award making this project possible. Dr Tore Eriksson is acknowledged for building the alternating magnetic field generator.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Controlled drug release under a low frequency magnetic field: effect of the citrate coating on magnetoliposomes stability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this