Functional magnetic nanoparticles for protein delivery applications: understanding protein-nanoparticle interactions

Rajat Sharma, Daniel Ungar, Edward Dyson, Stephen Rimmer, Victor Chechik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) surface functionalised with thermo-responsive polymers can encapsulate therapeutic proteins and release them upon heating with an alternating magnetic field above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST). In order to make this delivery system clinically-relevant, we prepared IONPs coated with poly-N-isopropylmethacrylamide (PNIPMAM), a polymer with LCST above human body temperature. The optimal polymer chain length and nanoparticle size to achieve LCST of ca. 45 °C were 19 kDa PNIPMAM and 16 nm IONPs. The PNIPMAM-coated IONPs could encapsulate a range of proteins which were released upon heating above LCST in the presence of a competitor protein or serum. A small amount of encapsulated protein leakage was observed below LCST. The efficiency of protein encapsulation and release was correlated with molecular weight and glycosylation state of the proteins. Magnetic heating resulted in a faster protein release as compared to conventional heating without significant temperature increase of the bulk solution.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Early online date29 Dec 2024
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Dec 2023

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2024

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