Efficient labeling of mesenchymal stem cells using cell permeable magnetic nanoparticles

Jin Sook Suh, Jue Yeon Lee, Young Suk Choi, Faquan Yu, Victor Yang, Seung Jin Lee, Chong Pyoung Chung, Yoon Jeong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


For the purpose of successfully monitoring labeled cells, optimum labeling efficiency without any side effect is a prerequisite. Magnetic cellular imaging is a new and growing field that allows the visualization of implanted cells in vivo. Herein, superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles were conjugated with a non-toxic protein transduction domain (PTD), identified by the authors and termed low molecular weight protamine (LMWP), to generate efficient and non-toxic cell labeling tools. The cells labeled with LMWP-SPIO presented the highest iron content compared to those labeled with naked SPIO and the complex of SPIO with poly-l-lysine, which is currently used as a transfection agent. In addition to the iron content assay, Prussian staining and confocal observation demonstrated the highest intracellular LMWP-SPIO presence, and the labeling procedure did not alter the cell differentiation capacity of mesenchymal stem cells. Taken together, cell permeable magnetic nanoparticles conjugated with LMWP can be suggested as labeling tools for efficient magnetic imaging of transplanted cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-675
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) nanobiotechnology development program entitled by Regenomics (No. 2008-00889) and by Bioteeth Project (No. M10646010001-08N4601-00110), in part by a Korean Research Foundation Young Investigator Research grant (No. D00192).


  • Cell permeable magnetic nanoparticles
  • Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC)
  • Low molecular weight protamine (LMWP)
  • Protein transduction domain (PTD)
  • Stem cell labeling
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)


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