In vitro targeted magnetic delivery and tracking of superparamagnetic iron oxide particles labeled stem cells for articular cartilage defect repair
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- Feng, Y., Jin, X., Dai, G. et al. J. Huazhong Univ. Sci. Technol. [Med. Sci.] (2011) 31: 204. doi:10.1007/s11596-011-0253-2
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To assess a novel cell manipulation technique of tissue engineering with respect to its ability to augment superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIO) labeled mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) density at a localized cartilage defect site in an in vitro phantom by applying magnetic force. Meanwhile, non-invasive imaging techniques were use to track SPIO-labeled MSCs by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Human bone marrow MSCs were cultured and labeled with SPIO. Fresh degenerated human osteochondral fragments were obtained during total knee arthroplasty and a cartilage defect was created at the center. Then, the osteochondral fragments were attached to the sidewalls of culture flasks filled with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) to mimic the human joint cavity. The SPIO-labeled MSCs were injected into the culture flasks in the presence of a 0.57 Tesla (T) magnetic force. Before and 90 min after cell targeting, the specimens underwent T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (SET2WI) sequence of 3.0 T MRI. MRI results were compared with histological findings. Macroscopic observation showed that SPIO-labeled MSCs were steered to the target region of cartilage defect. MRI revealed significant changes in signal intensity (P<0.01). HE staining exibited that a great number of MSCs formed a three-dimensional (3D) cell “sheet” structure at the chondral defect site. It was concluded that 0.57 T magnetic force permits spatial delivery of magnetically labeled MSCs to the target region in vitro. High-field MRI can serve as an very sensitive non-invasive technique for the visualization of SPIO-labeled MSCs.