Published online: 10 June 2007; doi:10.1038/nnano.2007.149


Nanoparticles and bacteria can be used, independently, to deliver genes and proteins into mammalian cells for monitoring or altering gene expression and protein production. Here, we show the simultaneous use of nanoparticles and bacteria to deliver DNA-based model drug molecules in vivo and in vitro. In our approach, cargo (in this case, a fluorescent or a bioluminescent gene) is loaded onto the nanoparticles, which are carried on the bacteria surface. When incubated with cells, the cargo-carrying bacteria (‘microbots’) were internalized by the cells, and the genes released from the nanoparticles were expressed in the cells. Mice injected with microbots also successfully expressed the genes as seen by the luminescence in different organs. This new approach may be used to deliver different types of cargo into live animals and a variety of cells in culture without the need for complicated genetic manipulations.



Date of this Version

June 2007