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Multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles for integrated nucleic acid delivery, magnetic cell labelling and magnetic resonance imaging - Plank/Weyh/Trahms

This project will provide multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles MNP) designed for magnetic targeting of nucleic acids and gene vectors as well as for magnetic cell positioning. This project also aims at extending the scope of magnetic targeting by integrating this technology with magnetorelaxometry and magnetic resonance imaging. MNP synthesis will be established based on microreactor technology in order to provide batch-to-batch reproducibility of iron oxide nanoparticle cores and surface coatings and in order to facilitate a transition to synthesis under GMP conditions. A thorough biophysical characterization of the resulting particles and their complexes with nucleic acids and vectors includes the determination of their core compositions, of their magnetic properties, of their sizes and surface charges and a correlation of said properties with cellular uptake and efficiency in nucleic acid delivery. Multifunctionality will be introduced by arming particles or their formulations, respectively, with biological ligands for endothelial targeting and intracellular processing, thus combining biological and physical targeting. Magnetorelaxometry (MRX) will be used to locate and quantify magnetic compositions in biological tissue. In parallel, magnetic particles, their formulations with vectors as well as magnetically labelled cells will be screened for generating optimal contrast in MRI.

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