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J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 259-276;

Using Magnetic Nanoparticles for Gene Transfer to Neural Stem Cells: Stem Cell Propagation Method Influences Outcomes

Cellular and Neural Engineering Group, Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Anatomy Building, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Puoci
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2015 / Accepted: 16 April 2015 / Published: 24 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1688 KB, uploaded 24 April 2015]   |  


Genetically engineered neural stem cell (NSC) transplants offer a key strategy to augment neural repair by releasing therapeutic biomolecules into injury sites. Genetic modification of NSCs is heavily reliant on viral vectors but cytotoxic effects have prompted development of non-viral alternatives, such as magnetic nanoparticle (MNPs). NSCs are propagated in laboratories as either 3-D suspension “neurospheres” or 2-D adherent “monolayers”. MNPs deployed with oscillating magnetic fields (“magnetofection technology”) mediate effective gene transfer to neurospheres but the efficacy of this approach for monolayers is unknown. It is important to address this issue as oscillating magnetic fields dramatically enhance MNP-based transfection in transplant cells (e.g., astrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursors) propagated as monolayers. We report for the first time that oscillating magnetic fields enhanced MNP-based transfection with reporter and functional (basic fibroblast growth factor; FGF2) genes in monolayer cultures yielding high transfection versus neurospheres. Transfected NSCs showed high viability and could re-form neurospheres, which is important as neurospheres yield higher post-transplantation viability versus monolayer cells. Our results demonstrate that the combination of oscillating magnetic fields and a monolayer format yields the highest efficacy for MNP-mediated gene transfer to NSCs, offering a viable non-viral alternative for genetic modification of this important neural cell transplant population. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticle; magnetofection; neural cell; stem cell; transplantation; genetic engineering nanoparticle; magnetofection; neural cell; stem cell; transplantation; genetic engineering

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Pickard, M.R.; Adams, C.F.; Barraud, P.; Chari, D.M. Using Magnetic Nanoparticles for Gene Transfer to Neural Stem Cells: Stem Cell Propagation Method Influences Outcomes. J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6, 259-276.

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