European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 647–654 | Cite as

Magnetic nanoparticles for “smart liposomes”

  • Yoshitaka Nakayama
  • Mislav Mustapić
  • Haleh Ebrahimian
  • Pawel Wagner
  • Jung Ho Kim
  • Md Shahriar Al Hossain
  • Joseph Horvat
  • Boris MartinacEmail author
Original Paper


Liposomal drug delivery systems (LDDSs) are promising tools used for the treatment of diseases where highly toxic pharmacological agents are administered. Currently, destabilising LDDSs by a specific stimulus at a target site remains a major challenge. The bacterial mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) presents an excellent candidate biomolecule that could be employed as a remotely controlled pore-forming nanovalve for triggered drug release from LDDSs. In this study, we developed superparamagnetic nanoparticles for activation of the MscL nanovalves by magnetic field. Synthesised CoFe2O4 nanoparticles with the radius less than 10 nm were labelled by SH groups for attachment to MscL. Activation of MscL by magnetic field with the nanoparticles attached was examined by the patch clamp technique showing that the number of activated channels under ramp pressure increased upon application of the magnetic field. In addition, we have not observed any cytotoxicity of the nanoparticles in human cultured cells. Our study suggests the possibility of using magnetic nanoparticles as a specific trigger for activation of MscL nanovalves for drug release in LDDSs.


Magnetic nanoparticles CoFe2O4 Mechanosensitive channels MscL Liposomes Drug delivery system Patch clamp 



We thank Paul Rhode for the purification of M42C MscL, Gilberto Casillas for transmission electron microscopy, and Prof. Yoon-Bo Shim for the cytotoxicity test. We also thank Dr. Edward J. Beck for critical reading of the manuscript and useful suggestions for its improvement. This work was supported by the ‘AIIM (Australian Institute for Innovative Materials) for Gold/2014’ grant in collaboration with Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS), for a fellowship to YN and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia for a Principal Research Fellowship to BM. This research used equipment funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC)—Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant LE120100104, located at the UOW Electron Microscopy Centre.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary material

249_2015_1059_MOESM1_ESM.avi (5.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (AVI 5605 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MOV 8443 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshitaka Nakayama
    • 1
  • Mislav Mustapić
    • 2
  • Haleh Ebrahimian
    • 1
  • Pawel Wagner
    • 2
  • Jung Ho Kim
    • 2
  • Md Shahriar Al Hossain
    • 2
  • Joseph Horvat
    • 2
  • Boris Martinac
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Molecular Cardiology and Biophysics DivisionVictor Chang Cardiac Research InstituteDarlinghurstAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Material (ISEM)University of WollongongNorth WollongongAustralia
  3. 3.St Vincent’s Clinical SchoolUniversity of New South WalesDarlinghurstAustralia

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