Tension exerted on cells by magnetic nanoparticles regulates differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells

Sungwoo Cho, Min Ju Shon, Boram Son, Gee Sung Eun, Tae Young Yoon, Tai Hyun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cells can ‘sense’ physical cues in the surrounding microenvironment and ‘react’ by changing their function. Previous studies have focused on regulating the physical properties of the matrix, such as stiffness and topography, thus changing the tension ‘felt’ by the cell as a result. In this study, by directly applying a quantified magnetic force to the cell, a correlation between differentiation and tension was shown. The magnetic force, quantified by magnetic tweezers, was applied by incorporating magnetotactic bacteria-isolated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in human mesenchymal stem cells. As the applied tension increased, the expression levels of osteogenic differentiation marker genes and proteins were proportionally upregulated. Additionally, the translocation of YAP and RUNX2, deformation of nucleus, and activation of the MAPK signaling pathway were observed in tension-based osteogenic differentiation. Our findings provide a platform for the quantitative control of tension, a key factor in stem cell differentiation, between cells and the matrix using MNPs. Furthermore, these findings improve the understanding of osteogenic differentiation by mechanotransduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213028
JournalBiomaterials Advances
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government ( MSIT ) [grant numbers 2017M3A9C6031786 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Magnetic nanoparticle
  • Magnetic tweezers
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Osteogenic differentiation
  • Tension


Dive into the research topics of 'Tension exerted on cells by magnetic nanoparticles regulates differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this