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Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles In Musculoskeletal Biology.

S. Iyer, S. Xu, J. P. Stains, Craig H. Bennett, R. Lovering
Published 2017 · Biology, Medicine

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The use of platelet-rich plasma and mesenchymal stem cells has garnered much attention in orthopedic medicine, focusing on the biological aspects of cell function. However, shortly after systemic delivery, or even a local injection, few of the transplanted stem cells or platelets remain at the target site. Improvement in delivery, and the ability to track and monitor injected cells, would greatly improve clinical translation. Nanoparticles can effectively and quickly label most cells in vitro, and evidence to date suggests such labeling does not compromise the proliferation or differentiation of cells. A specific type of nanoparticle, the superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION), is already employed as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. SPIONs can be coupled with cells or bioactive molecules (antibodies, proteins, drugs, etc.) to form an injectable complex for in vivo use. The biocompatibility, magnetic properties, small size, and custom-made surface coatings also enable SPIONs to be used for delivering and monitoring of small molecules, drugs, and cells, specifically to muscle, bone, or cartilage. Because SPIONs consist of cores made of iron oxides, targeting of SPIONs to a specific muscle, bone, or joint in the body can be enhanced with the help of applied gradient magnetic fields. Moreover, MRI has a high sensitivity to SPIONs and can be used for noninvasive determination of successful delivery and monitoring distribution in vivo. Gaps remain in understanding how the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials affect biological systems. Nonetheless, SPIONs hold great promise for regenerative medicine, and progress is being made rapidly toward clinical applications in orthopedic medicine.

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