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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.


Originally published in Nature Communications.





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