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Hydrogel Magnetomechanical Actuator Nanoparticles for Wireless Remote Control of Mechanosignaling In Vivo


As a new enabling nanotechnology tool for wireless, target-specific, and long-distance stimulation of mechanoreceptors in vivo, here we present a hydrogel magnetomechanical actuator (h-MMA) nanoparticle. To allow both deep-tissue penetration of input signals and efficient force generation, h-MMA integrates a two-step transduction mechanism that converts magnetic anisotropic energy to thermal energy within its magnetic core (i.e., Zn0.4Fe2.6O4 nanoparticle cluster) and then to mechanical energy to induce the surrounding polymer (i.e., pNiPMAm) shell contraction, finally delivering forces to activate targeted mechanoreceptors. We show that h-MMAs enable on-demand modulation of Notch signaling in both fluorescence reporter cell lines and a xenograft mouse model, demonstrating its utility as a powerful in vivo perturbation approach for mechanobiology interrogation in a minimally invasive and untethered manner.

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