Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Show the Way

  • Author: Melania Tesio
  • Published: 25 July 2013
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Small/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Show the Way

Stem cells, specialized cells of the body, possess a great therapeutic potential as they can regenerate damaged tissues after being administered intravenously. In order to do so, they need to efficiently reach the target organs. Natalia Landázuri, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and colleagues developed a system to increase the efficiency of this process.


The researchers loaded polyethylene glycol-coated iron oxide nanoparticles into mesenchymal stem cells – a particular type of stem cells giving rise to fat, cartilage, and bone. As iron oxide nanoparticles are superparamagnetic, they respond to external magnetic fields. As a consequence, when the researchers injected the mesenchymal stem cells into animal models and subsequently applied a magnet next to an organ of interest, the oxide nanoparticles directed the cells into it.

Superparamagnetic oxide nanoparticles might thus be used to precisely direct stem cells to damaged tissues and increase their therapeutic potential.


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