Multifunctional magnetic nanocarriers for image-tagged SiRNA delivery to intact pancreatic islets

Zdravka Medarova, Mohanraja Kumar, Shu Wing Ng, Junzheng Yang, Natasha Barteneva, Natalia V. Evgenov, Victoria Petkova, Anna Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND.: With the ultimate hope of finding a cure for diabetes, researches are looking into altering the genetic profile of the beta cell as a way to manage metabolic dysregulation. One of the most powerful new approaches for the directed regulation of gene expression uses the phenomenon of RNA interference. METHODS.: Here, we establish the feasibility of a novel technology centered around multifunctional magnetic nanocarriers, which concurrently deliver siRNA to intact pancreatic islets and can be detected by magnetic resonance and optical imaging. RESULTS.: In the proof-of-principle studies described here, we demonstrate that, after in vitro incubation, magnetic nanoparticles carrying siRNA designed to target the model gene for enhanced green fluorescent protein are efficiently taken up by murine pancreatic islets, derived from egfp transgenic animals. This uptake can be visualized by magnetic resonance imaging and near-infrared fluorescence optical imaging and results in suppression of the target gene. CONCLUSIONS.: These results illustrate the value of our approach in overcoming the challenges associated with genetic modification of intact pancreatic islets in a clinically acceptable manner. Furthermore, an added advantage of our technology derives rom the combined capability of our magnetic nanoparticles for siRNA delivery and magnetic labeling of pancreatic islets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-1177
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2008


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Optical imaging
  • Pancreatic islets
  • RNA interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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