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Nanoscale. 2011 Feb;3(2):619-29. doi: 10.1039/c0nr00570c. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Magnetic nanobeads decorated by thermo-responsive PNIPAM shell as medical platforms for the efficient delivery of doxorubicin to tumour cells.

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  • 1Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163, Genova, Italy.


Medical nanoplatforms based on clusters of superparamagnetic nanoparticles decorated with a PNIPAM thermo-responsive shell have been synthesized and used as drug carriers for doxorubicin (DOXO), a common chemotherapeutic agent. The nanosystem here developed has a total diameter below 200 nm and exploits the temperature responsive behaviour of the PNIPAM polymeric shell for the controlled loading and release of DOXO. The system has been tested in vitro on tumour cells and it clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of drug polymer encapsulation and time-dependent cell death induced by the doxorubicin release. Comparative cellular studies of the DOXO loaded nanoplatform in the presence or absence of an external magnet (0.3 T) showed the synergic effect of accumulation and enhanced toxicity of the system, when magnetically guided, resulting in the enhanced efficacy of the system.

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