Nanocarriers of Fe3O4 as a novel method for delivery of the antineoplastic agent doxorubicin into hela cells in vitro

Kun Kun Xia, Yong Lyu, Wei Tang Yuan, Gui Xian Wang, Harrison Stratton, Shui Jun Zhang, Jie Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Here we report the synthesis and in vitro characterization of a redox-sensitive, magnetically inducible nanoparticle carrier system based on the doxorubicin (DOX) drug delivery model. Each quantal nanocarrier unit consists of a magnetite Fe3O4 nanoparticle core that is further encapsulated in self-assembled micelles of the redox-responsive polyethylene glycol derivative, DSPE-SS-mPEG. The nanocarrier system was prepared using a combination of ultrasonication and dialysis to produce the microenvironment sensitive delivery system. The final synthesized and DOX-loaded magnetic nanocarriers had an average size of ~150 nm when assembled with a 6.9% DOX payload. The release rate of DOX from these redox-responsive magnetic nanocarriers was shown to be accelerated in vitro when in the presence of glutathione (GSH). Furthermore, we demonstrated that more redox-responsive magnetic nanocarriers could be taken up by HeLa cells when a local magnetic field was applied. Once internalized within a cell, the micelles of the outer nanocarrier complex were broken down in the presence of higher concentrations of GSH, which accelerated the release of DOX. This produces a particle with dual operating characteristics that can be controlled via a specific cellular environment coupled with an exogenously applied signal in the form of a magnetic field triggering release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number250
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug delivery
  • Fe3O4
  • HeLa cells
  • Nanocarriers
  • Redox-responsive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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