Functionalization of Magnetic Nanowires for Active Targeting and Enhanced Cell Killing Efficacy

Nouf Alsharif, Fajr A Aleisa, Guangyu Liu, Boon S. Ooi, Niketan Sarabhai Patel, Timothy Ravasi, Jasmeen Merzaban, Jürgen Kosel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often insufficient in eliminating cancer and are accompanied by severe side effects, due to a lack in the specificity of their targeting. Magnetic iron nanowires have made a great contribution to the nanomedicine field because of their low toxicity and ease of manipulation with the magnetic field. Recently, they have been used in magnetic resonance imaging, wireless magneto-mechanical, and photothermal treatments. The addition of active targeting moieties to these nanowires thus creates a multifunctional tool that can boost therapeutic efficacies through the combination of different treatments towards a specific target. Colon cancer is the third most commonly occurring cancer, and 90±2.5% of colon cancer cells express the glycoprotein CD44. Iron nanowires with an iron oxide surface are biocompatible, multifunctional materials that can be controlled by magnetic fields and heated by laser irradiation. Here, they were functionalized with anti-CD44 antibodies and used for in a combination therapy that included magneto-mechanical and photothermal treatments on colon cancer cells. The functionalization resulted in a threefold increase of nanowire internalization in colon cancer cells compared to control cells and did not affect the antigenicity and magnetic properties. It also increased the efficacy of killing from 35±1% to more than 71±2%, whereby the combination therapy was more effective than individual therapies alone.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
StatePublished - Jul 8 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). This work
has been partially funded by King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) General Directorate of Research Grants, Basic
Research Grants Program [grant 151-34-TA].tudies. We also thank Samah Zeineb Gadhoum for her support and guidance regarding CD44.


Dive into the research topics of 'Functionalization of Magnetic Nanowires for Active Targeting and Enhanced Cell Killing Efficacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this