Preparation and characterization of polyethylenimine-coated Fe3O4-MCM-48 nanocomposite particles as a novel agent for magnet-assisted transfection

Humphrey Hak Ping Yiu, Stuart McBain, Z. A D Lethbridge, M. R. Lees, Jon Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


A new type of magnetic nanoparticle was synthesized using mesoporous silica MCM-48 as a template. Magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) nanocrystals were incorporated onto the MCM-48 silica structure by thermal decomposition of iron(Ill) acetylacetonate. The particle size of these Fe(3)O(4)-MCM-48 composite particles is around 300 nm with an iron oxide content of ca. 20% w/w. Measurements from SQUID magnetometry suggest that these nanoparticles possess superparamagnetic properties similar to those of Fe(3)O(4) nanoparticles. By coating positively charged polyethylenimine on to the surface, DNA can be bound onto the Fe(3)O(4)-MCM-48 nanoparticles. Transfection studies showed that these PEI-Fe(3)O(4)-MCM-48 particles were highly effective as a transfection reagent, and a 400% increase of transfection efficiency compared with the commercial products was recorded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • gene delivery
  • polyethyleneimine
  • nanoporous
  • magnetite
  • magnetofection


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