Functionalized magnetic nanowires for chemical and magneto-mechanical induction of cancer cell death

Aldo Martinez Banderas, Antonio Aires, Francisco J. Teran, Jose E. Perez, Jael F. Cadenas, Nouf Alsharif, Timothy Ravasi, Aitziber L. Cortajarena, Jürgen Kosel

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58 Scopus citations


Exploiting and combining different properties of nanomaterials is considered a potential route for next generation cancer therapies. Magnetic nanowires (NWs) have shown good biocompatibility and a high level of cellular internalization. We induced cancer cell death by combining the chemotherapeutic effect of doxorubicin (DOX)-functionalized iron NWs with the mechanical disturbance under a low frequency alternating magnetic field. (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) were separately used for coating NWs allowing further functionalization with DOX. Internalization was assessed for both formulations by confocal reflection microscopy and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. From confocal analysis, BSA formulations demonstrated higher internalization and less agglomeration. The functionalized NWs generated a comparable cytotoxic effect in breast cancer cells in a DOX concentration-dependent manner, (~60% at the highest concentration tested) that was significantly different from the effect produced by free DOX and non-functionalized NWs formulations. A synergistic cytotoxic effect is obtained when a magnetic field (1 mT, 10 Hz) is applied to cells treated with DOX-functionalized BSA or APTES-coated NWs, (~70% at the highest concentration). In summary, a bimodal method for cancer cell destruction was developed by the conjugation of the magneto-mechanical properties of iron NWs with the effect of DOX producing better results than the individual effects.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 24 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Sylvia Gutiérrez Erlandsson (Confocal microscopy service CNB-CSIC) and Manuel Roldan Rodriguez (Imaging and Characterization Core Lab at KAUST). This work was partially supported by European Commission (MULTIFUN, no. 262943), Comunidad de Madrid NANOFRONTMAG-CM project (S2013/MIT-2850), and Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (BIO2012-34835 and MAT2013-47395-C4-3-R). F.J.T. acknowledges the financial support from Ramon y Cajal subprogram (RYC-2011-09617). Research reported in this publication was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


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