An upgraded interaction to detach and cleanse magnetic nanoparticles

An upgraded interaction to detach and cleanse magnetic nanoparticles


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  • Source: University of Bayreuth

  • Date: 20 Feb,2021

Magnetic nanoparticles biosynthesized by germs might soon play an significant role in biomedicine and biotechnology. Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have developed and optimized a procedure for the purification and isolation of the particles from bacterial cells.

In initial tests, magnetosomes showed good biocompatibility when compared with human cell lines. The results presented in the journal”Acta Biomaterialia” are therefore a promising step towards the biomedical use of magnetosomes in diagnostic imaging methods or as carriers in magnetic drug delivery applications.

These are organized in a chain-like manner much like a string of pearls, thereby forming a sort of magnetic compass needle which enables the bacteria to navigate across the planet’s magnetic field.

Compared to chemically produced nanoparticles, magnetosomes display a strikingly uniform shape and size of approximately 40 nanometres, a perfect crystal structure, and promising magnetic properties.

Furthermore, they are surrounded with a biological membrane which may be outfitted with additional biochemical functionalities as required. The particles are therefore highly attractive for a range of biomedical and biotechnological applications.

An interdisciplinary group of scientists at the University of Bayreuth has defined quality standards for purified magnetosomes, which are needed for future applications.

Specifically, these include the uniformity (homogeneity) of magnetosomes, a high level of purity, and the integrity of the membrane that surrounds each individual magnetosome and provides stability. At exactly the exact same time, the Bayreuth researchers established and optimized a method by which magnetosomes could be dispersed from the bacteria.

The newly developed process not only fulfills the quality standards but can also be adaptable for the isolation of larger amounts required from the wide assortment of applications envisioned in biomedicine and biotechnology.

The magnetosome purification procedure developed in Bayreuth is based on the physical properties of the magnetic nanoparticles. The magnetosomes are separated from other non-magnetic cell components by magnetic columns.

Second, because of the high density of the nanoparticles, an extra ultracentrifugation step permits the elimination of residual impurities. The quality of the purified magnetosome suspensions has been assessed by physicochemical methods. Additionally, the biocompatibility was analyzed in close collaboration with the Jena University Hospital.

These analyses showed high energy values of magnetosome-treated human cell lines at high particle concentrations. This indicates good biocompatibility based on relevant DIN standards, which signifies a prerequisite for use of magnetosomes in magnetic imaging methods or targeting of cancer cells by magnetically controlled drug delivery.

Additionally, the nanoparticles may have great potential in the area of theranostics, which combines exact identification with subsequent targeted treatment.

Journal reference:

Rosenfeldt, S., et al. (2021) Towards standardized purification of bacterial magnetic nanoparticles for future in vivo applications. Acta Biomaterialia.

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