Externally controlled on-demand release of anti-HIV drug using magneto-electric nanoparticles as carriers

Nat Commun. 2013;4:1707. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2717.


Although highly active anti-retroviral therapy has resulted in remarkable decline in the morbidity and mortality in AIDS patients, inadequately low delivery of anti-retroviral drugs across the blood-brain barrier results in virus persistence. The capability of high-efficacy-targeted drug delivery and on-demand release remains a formidable task. Here we report an in vitro study to demonstrate the on-demand release of azidothymidine 5'-triphosphate, an anti-human immunodeficiency virus drug, from 30 nm CoFe2O4@BaTiO3 magneto-electric nanoparticles by applying a low alternating current magnetic field. Magneto-electric nanoparticles as field-controlled drug carriers offer a unique capability of field-triggered release after crossing the blood-brain barrier. Owing to the intrinsic magnetoelectricity, these nanoparticles can couple external magnetic fields with the electric forces in drug-carrier bonds to enable remotely controlled delivery without exploiting heat. Functional and structural integrity of the drug after the release was confirmed in in vitro experiments with human immunodeficiency virus-infected cells and through atomic force microscopy, spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared and mass spectrometry studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Drug Carriers*
  • Electricity*
  • Humans
  • Magnetics*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Drug Carriers