A magnetic switch for the control of cell death signalling in in vitro and in vivo systems

Mi Hyeon Cho, Eun Jung Lee, Mina Son, Jae Hyun Lee, Dongwon Yoo, Ji Wook Kim, Seung Woo Park, Jeon Soo Shin, Jinwoo Cheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


The regulation of cellular activities in a controlled manner is one of the most challenging issues in fields ranging from cell biology to biomedicine. Nanoparticles have the potential of becoming useful tools for controlling cell signalling pathways in a space and time selective fashion. Here, we have developed magnetic nanoparticles that turn on apoptosis cell signalling by using a magnetic field in a remote and non-invasive manner. The magnetic switch consists of zinc-doped iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (Zn 0.4Fe2.6O4), conjugated with a targeting antibody for death receptor 4 (DR4) of DLD-1 colon cancer cells. The magnetic switch, in its On mode when a magnetic field is applied to aggregate magnetic nanoparticle-bound DR4s, promotes apoptosis signalling pathways. We have also demonstrated that the magnetic switch is operable at the micrometre scale and that it can be applied in an in vivo system where apoptotic morphological changes of zebrafish are successfully induced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1043
Number of pages6
JournalNature materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by grants from the Creative Research Initiative (2010-0018286), WCU Program (R32-10217), National Research Foundation of Korea (2011-0017611) and the second stage BK21 for Chemistry and Medical Sciences of Yonsei University. S.W.P. was supported by the National Research Foundation, Mid-career Researcher Program (72011-0043). M.H.C. was supported by a Hi Seoul Science/Humanities Fellowship from the Seoul Scholarship Foundation.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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