Movement of magnetic nanoparticles in brain tissue: Mechanisms and impact on normal neuronal function

Bharath Ramaswamy*, Sandip D. Kulkarni, Pablo S. Villar, Richard S. Smith, Christian Eberly, Ricardo C. Araneda, Didier A. Depireux, Benjamin Shapiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been used as effective vehicles for targeted delivery of theranostic agents in the brain. The advantage of magnetic targeting lies in the ability to control the concentration and distribution of therapy to a desired target region using external driving magnets. In this study, we investigated the behavior and safety of MNP motion in brain tissue. We found that MNPs move and form nanoparticle chains in the presence of a uniform magnetic field, and that this chaining is influenced by the applied magnetic field intensity and the concentration of MNPs in the tissue. Using electrophysiology recordings, immunohistochemistry and fluorescent imaging we assessed the functional health of neurons and neural circuits and found no adverse effects associated with MNP motion through brain tissue. From the Clinical Editor: Much research has been done to test the use of nanocarriers for gaining access across the blood brain barrier (BBB). In this respect, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are one of the most studied candidates. Nonetheless, the behavior and safety of MNP once inside brain tissue remains unknown. In this article, the authors thus studied this very important subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1821-1829
Number of pages9
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Brain
  • Drug delivery
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Safety
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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