Viral gene transfer und nanomedicine

Viral gene transfer

Our goal is to combine modern virology with gene transfer technology.

Lentiviral vectors are promising tools for both molecular biology and gene therapy. Lentiviruses are capable of transducing nondividing cells in vitro and in vivo, e.g. neurons, hepatocytes, and skeletal muscle cells.

Additionally, these vectors can be used for gene transfer into embryonal stem cells (ES-cells). We and others have established methods that enable the use of lentiviral vectors for the generation of transgenic animals (lentiviral transgenesis). The transduction of pre-implantation embryos with lentiviral vectors results in the expression of transgenes during embryogenesis as well as in newborn and adult animals. Lentiviral transgenesis has already been established for several species of animals, including mice, pigs, rats, cows, and chickens.


Our goal is the development of nanotechnology-based strategies for targeted gene transfer for use in innovative therapies, such as the transfer of genetic material or genetically modified stem- and progenitor cells to the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. This work is being done as part of the DFG-funded research group FOR 917 “Nanoguide”.

In the picture above we transduced GFP-expressing smooth muscle cells with magnetic nanoparticle-coupled lentiviral particles.

Here are some of our latest publications on this issue:

Quantification of Lipoprotein Uptake in vivo Using Magnetic Particle Imaging and Spectroscopy

Hildebrand S, Löwa N, Paysen H, Fratila RM, Reverte-Salisa L, Trakoolwilaiwan T, Niu Z, Kasparis G, Preuss SF, Kosch O, M de la Fuente J, Thanh NTK, Wiekhorst F, Pfeifer A

ACS Nano. 2021 Jan 26;15(1):434-446. doi: 10.2021/acsnano.0c03229.

Exosomal microRNA miR-92a concentration in serum reflects human brown fat activity

Chen Y, Buyel JJ, Hanssen MJ, Siegel F, Pan R, Naumann J, Schell M, van der Lans A, Schlein C, Froehlich H, Heeren J, Virtanen KA, van Marken Lichtenbelt W, Pfeifer A.

Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 27;7:11420. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11420.


Prof. Dr. Alexander Pfeifer

Venusberg Campus 1

53127 Bonn

+49 228 287 51300

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