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Author Notes:

Corresponding Author: wilbur.lam@emory.edu gang.bao@rice.edu

Y.Q., S.T., W.A.L. and G.B. conceived the idea.

Y.Q. and S.T. performed the experiments and wrote the manuscript

L.Z. helped perform animal experiments.

Y.S. helped maintain and seed endothelial cells.

D.R.M. helped fabricate the microfluidic device.

L.H. helped seed and stain endothelial cells.

G.B. and W.A.L. supervised the study and wrote the manuscript.

The authors wish to thank A. Shaw of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Institute of Electronic and Nanotechnology at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


Research Funding:

his work was supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health as a Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology Award (HHSN268201000043C to G.B.), the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (RR140081 to G.B.) and an NIH R01 (R01HL121264 to W.A.L.), NIH U54 (HL112309 to W.A.L.), and NSF CAREER (1150235 to W.A.L.).


  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics

Magnetic forces enable controlled drug delivery by disrupting endothelial cell-cell junctions


Journal Title:

Nature Communications


Volume 8


, Pages 15594-15594

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The vascular endothelium presents a major transport barrier to drug delivery by only allowing selective extravasation of solutes and small molecules. Therefore, enhancing drug transport across the endothelial barrier has to rely on leaky vessels arising from disease states such as pathological angiogenesis and inflammatory response. Here we show that the permeability of vascular endothelium can be increased using an external magnetic field to temporarily disrupt endothelial adherens junctions through internalized iron oxide nanoparticles, activating the paracellular transport pathway and facilitating the local extravasation of circulating substances. This approach provides a physically controlled drug delivery method harnessing the biology of endothelial adherens junction and opens a new avenue for drug delivery in a broad range of biomedical research and therapeutic applications.

Copyright information:

Copyright © 2017, The Author(s)

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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