Magnetic gelatin nanoparticles as a biocompatible carrier system for small interfering RNA in human colorectal cancer: Synthesis, optimization, characterization, and cell viability studies

Selimovic A., Kara G., Denkbas E. B.

Materials Today Communications, vol.33, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.mtcomm.2022.104616
  • Journal Name: Materials Today Communications
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Compendex, INSPEC
  • Keywords: Iron oxide nanoparticles, Gelatin, SiRNA, Nanocarriers, Gene silencing, Cancer therapy
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Elsevier LtdIron oxide-based nanoparticles have gained tremendous attention in developing next-generation personalized medicine modalities. Gelatin can be a good alternative for encapsulating iron oxide nanoparticles with its biocompatibility, biodegradability, low immunogenicity, and richness of functional groups. Herein, magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized, coated with gelatin (Gel-MNPs), and loaded with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-silencing siRNA to induce the in vitro therapeutic effect in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first report using Gel-MNPs as siRNA carriers. We first optimized several experimental conditions for the preparation of MNPs and Gel-MNPs and the resulting optimized nanoparticles showed a narrow size and size distribution. Gelatin-coating increased the storage stability by preventing the aggregation of MNPs and did not alter the magnetic characteristics of MNPs significantly. siRNA encapsulation abilities of Gel-MNPs were determined in the range of 18.4% and 41.5% in varying siRNA amounts. Bare Gel-MNPs were highly cytocompatible against CRC cells, Caco-2, while Gel-MNPs-mTOR-siRNA exhibited a significant anticancer effect to kill these cells. Comparison with HiPerFect, a commercial siRNA transfection reagent, demonstrated that Gel-MNPs-mTOR-siRNA inhibited cell viability almost similar to or better than HiPerFect-mTOR-siRNA. Taken together, our data indicated that Gel-MNPs could potentially be used in further gene silencing approaches as a safe and multifunctional siRNA carrier candidate.