|Christian Plank1, Olga Mykhaylyk1, Dialekti Vlaskou1, Ulrike Schillinger1, Florian Krötz3, Nicole Hellwig3, Christian Bergemann4, and Carsten Rudolph2
1Institute of Experimental Oncology, Technical University, 81675 Munich, Germany,
2Department of Pediatrics, Ludwig-Maximilians University, 80337 Munich, Germany,
3Institute of Physiology, Ludwig-Maximilians University, 80336 Munich, Germany, and
4chemicell, 10823 Berlin, Germany
Focussing drug action to a disease site rather than flooding patients with therapeutic agents is an important objective in drug delivery and molecular medicine in order to increase therapeutic efficacy and to avoid side effects. In the concept of magnetic drug targeting, active agents are associated with magnetically responsive materials in the nano- to micrometer size range and are accumulated at the site of disease by a suitable magnetic field. During the recent years we have adapted this concept for magnetically guided nucleic acid delivery, a method which is also known as Magnetofection. Nucleic acids or gene vectors are associated with magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and the process of nucleic acid or gene delivery is carried out under the guidance of magnetic gradient fields. In this manner, nucleic acid delivery can not only be localized but also the efficiency of the delivery process can be increased over several orders of magnitude. In the meantime, Magnetofection is applied worldwide as an efficient research tool for delivering genes in cell culture. Our current research focusses on magnetically guided nucleic acid and gene delivery in vivo. For this purpose we have developed two novel types of magnetic microcarriers which comprise a multitude of magnetic nanoparticles: Magnetic microbubbles and magnetic aerosols. "Magnetobubbles" can be accumulated by magnetic force and drug delivery can be triggered by the local application of ultrasound. "Magnetosols" can be exploited to target active agents to specific lung areas via the airways. Recent developments will be presented and discussed.