Several methods have been described to introduce DNA expression vectors into mammalian cells both in vitro and in vivo. Each system has benefits and limitations, and to date there is still no ideal method for gene transfer. In this study, we introduced a novel method of gene transfer by using Fe 3O4 nanoparticles. The magnetic nanoparticles composed of Fe3O4, and the transfected genes used are Lac Z and enhanced green fluorescence protein gene (EGFG). Four different groups of preparations included in this study were homemade liposome-enveloped EGFP-DNA/Fe3O4, homemade liposome EGFP-DNA gene without magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles, lipofectamine 2000-enveloped EGFP-DNA, and EGFP-DNA gene only. Mice osteoblast and He99 lung cancer cell line were used as host cells for gene transfection. The time-dependent EGFP gene expression was monitored and analyzed. The results showed that the diameter of the complex was less than 100 nm. There was no cytotoxicity observed at any of the magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticle concentrations tested. In the presence of magnetic field, the liposome-enveloped EGFP-DNA/Fe 3O4 complex exhibited a much higher efficiency for transfecting EGFP-DNA into osteoblast cells under external magnetic fields. The gene can be transfected into cells with an aid of magnetic vectors and magnetic force. Under a gradient magnetic field, the efficiency of magnetofection is enhanced as compared to that without magnetic field.
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