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Nanomagneto-Assisted Targeting of Viral Vectors and Positioning of Transduced Cells - Pfeifer

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are promising tools in cardiovascular medicine. The aim of this project is to combine targeting of lentiviral vectors and positioning of transduced cells by magnetic nanoparticles. Targeting of viral vectors is a major challenge for in vivo gene delivery especially after intravascular application. Physical forces generated by blood flow impede on efficient gene transfer after intravascular administration. In addition, ex vivo gene transfer has to be adapted to the temperature (hypothermia) and time constraints defined by the need to preserve the organ. Through the formation of complexes of lentiviral vectors with MNPs local targeting of lentiviral vectors by magnetic forces can be achieved. An important goal of our work will be to study MNP-assisted lentiviral transduction under physiological and clinically relevant
conditions in vitro (endothelial cells, stem/precursor cells and cardiomyocytes) and in vivo.

Our second major aim will be to position lentivector/MNP-transduced cells by magnetic force. Cell-based gene therapies rely on efficient positioning of genetically modified cells at specific sites within tissues and organs. Based on the fact that MNPs can be used for magnetic labeling of cells, we will develop novel strategies to position endothelial cells in vitro, in relevant ex vivo models and in vivo.

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