Effective delivery of immunosuppressive drug molecules by silica coated iron oxide nanoparticles

Jangsun Hwang, Eunwon Lee, Jieun Kim, Youngmin Seo, Kwan Hong Lee, Jong Wook Hong, Assaf A. Gilad, Hansoo Park, Jonghoon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Iron oxide nanoparticles have been used in a wide range of biomedical applications, including drug delivery, molecular imaging, and cellular imaging. Various surface modifications have been applied to the particles to stabilize their surface and to give them a moiety for anchoring tags and/or drug molecules. Conventional methods of delivering immunosuppressant drugs often require a high dose of drugs to ensure therapeutic effects, but this can lead to toxic side effects. In this study, we used silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles (IOSs) for a drug delivery application in which the nanoparticles carry the minimum amount of drug required to be effective to the target cells. IOSs could be loaded with water-insoluble immunosuppressive drug molecules (MPA: mycophenolic acid) and be used as a contrast agent for MRI. We characterized the IOSs for their physicochemical properties and found their average hydrodynamic diameter and core size to be 40.5 nm and 5 nm, respectively. Following the introduction of MPA-loaded IOSs (IOS/M), we evaluated the secretion dynamics of cytokines from peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA). The results showed that IOS/M effectively inhibited the secretion of the cytokines interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor α, with a minimal concentration of MPA. In conclusion, IOS/M may have potential applications in both efficient drug delivery and MRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Drug delivery
  • Immunosuppressive drug
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mycophenolic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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