Table of Contents  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-145  

Guided drug delivery with magnetic force

Section Editor, Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, India

Date of Web Publication6-Jun-2011

Correspondence Address:
G Sivagnanam
Section Editor, Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Sivagnanam G. Guided drug delivery with magnetic force. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2011;2:144-5

How to cite this URL:
Sivagnanam G. Guided drug delivery with magnetic force. J Pharmacol Pharmacother [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jan 25];2:144-5. Available from:

   News Top

"Researchers from Brown University had albino rats take gelatin capsules containing tiny magnets. The team used a magnet outside the body to direct the movement of the pills in the small intestine, and used a computer to track the pills and at the same time use the guidance system to test which spots are better and worse at absorbing chemicals." [1]

   (RE)View Top

Magnetic materials are already used in diagnostics, a classic case being magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents. Magnetic particles are presently explored as a means in other diagnostic and therapeutic medicine too.

Anatomical mapping (3-D images) as well as continuous evaluation of human gastrointestinal motility is possible using a minimally invasive technique called "magnetic tracking system" (MTS). MTS is a potential method for studies of gastrointestinal motility in normal as well as pathological conditions (e.g., motility disorders). A small magnet progressing through the digestive tract is tracked continuously through signals received and recorded by 16 magnetic field sensors placed over the abdomen. [2],[3]


Therapeutic or diagnostic agents are encapsulated within or attached with magnetic micro/nano particles. When this complex is injected into the blood stream, it can be attracted to and released at a desired site (mostly superficial body sites as the magnetic field strength reduces in deeper tissues) by a focused, high-gradient external magnetic field over the site.


This technique has potential applications like delivering genes [4] or drugs [5] to the desired target tissue. As of date, usage of magnetic force in applied therapeutics, especially for drug delivery, is still in the embryonic stage. However, ongoing research aims at targeted delivery of drugs like anti-cancer drugs (e.g., doxorubicin), NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen) and enzymes (e.g., trypsin, lipase), etc. [6] The likely toxicity from magnetic particles remains unknown.


It is a simple and efficient transfection (introduction of exogenous DNA into cells, i.e. gene transfer) method utilizing magnetic fields to deliver and retain nucleic acid into the target cells. [7]

Thus, magnetic principle is employed not only in potential targeted drug therapy but also in gene therapy.

   References Top

1.Khan A. Los Angeles Times. Available from:,0,1628155. story. [Last accessed on 2011 Jan 5].  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Stathopoulos E, Schlageter V, Meyrat B, Ribaupierre Y, Kucera P. Magnetic pill tracking: A novel non-invasive tool for investigation of human digestive motility. Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005;17:148-54.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Hiroz P, Schlageter V, Givel JC, Kucera P. Colonic movements in healthy subjects as monitored by a Magnet Tracking System. Sch Neurogastroenterol Motil 2009;21:838-e57.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Plank C, Schillinger U, Scherer F, Bergemann C, Rémy JS, Krötz F, et al. The magnetofection method: Using magnetic force to enhance gene delivery. Biol Chem 2003;384:737-47.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Lázaro FJ, Abadía AR, Romero MS, Gutiérrez L, Lázaro J, Morales MP. Magnetic characterisation of rat muscle tissues after subcutaneous iron dextran injection. Biochim Biophys Acta 2005;1740:434-45.   Back to cited text no. 5
6.McBain S, Yiu H, Dobson J. Magnetic nanoparticles for gene and drug delivery. Int J Nanomedicine 2008;3:169-80.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Scherer F, Anton M, Schillinger U, Henke J, Bergemann C, Kruger A, et al. Magnetofection: Enhancing and targeting gene delivery by magnetic force in vitro and in vivo. Gene Ther 2002;9:102-9.  Back to cited text no. 7


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded366    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal