Korean J Radiol.  2007 Oct;8(5):365-371. 10.3348/kjr.2007.8.5.365.

Labeling Efficacy of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles to Human Neural Stem Cells: Comparison of Ferumoxides, Monocrystalline Iron Oxide, Cross-linked Iron Oxide (CLIO)-NH2 and tat-CLIO

  • 1Department of Neurology, Clinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. moonwk@radcom.snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, and the Institute of Radiation Medicine, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Applied Chemistry, Sejong University, Seoul, Korea.


We wanted to compare the human neural stem cell (hNSC) labeling efficacy of different superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), namely, ferumoxides, monocrystalline iron oxide (MION), cross-linked iron oxide (CLIO)-NH2 and tat-CLIO. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The hNSCs (5x105 HB1F3 cells/ml) were incubated for 24 hr in cell culture media that contained 25 microgram/ml of ferumoxides, MION or CLIO-NH2, and with or without poly-L-lysine (PLL) and tat-CLIO. The cellular iron uptake was analyzed qualitatively with using a light microscope and this was quantified via atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The visibility of the labeled cells was assessed with MR imaging. RESULTS: The incorporation of SPIONs into the hNSCs did not affect the cellular proliferations and viabilities. The hNSCs labeled with tat-CLIO showed the longest retention, up to 72 hr, and they contained 2.15+/-0.3 pg iron/cell, which are 59 fold, 430 fold and six fold more incorporated iron than that of the hNSCs labeled with ferumoxides, MION or CLIO-NH2, respectively. However, when PLL was added, the incorporation of ferumoxides, MION or CLIO-NH2 into the hNSCs was comparable to that of tat-CLIO. CONCLUSION: For MR imaging, hNSCs can be efficiently labeled with tat-CLIO alone or with a combination of ferumoxides, MION, CLIO-NH2 and the transfection agent PLL.


Human neural stem cell; Iron oxide nanoparticles; Magnetic resonance (MR)

MeSH Terms

Cells, Cultured
Contrast Media/chemical synthesis/pharmacokinetics
Cross-Linking Reagents/chemistry
Ferric Compounds/chemistry/*pharmacokinetics
Ferrosoferric Oxide/chemical synthesis/pharmacokinetics
Gene Products, tat/chemistry
Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
Neural Tube
Phantoms, Imaging
Spectrophotometry, Atomic
Staining and Labeling/*methods
Stem Cells/cytology/*drug effects/metabolism
Time Factors
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