Vascular tissue engineering with magnetic nanoparticles: seeing deeper

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. Jul-Aug 2007;1(4):318-21. doi: 10.1002/term.32.


The endothelium bares a paramount therapeutic and diagnostic significance in vascular disease. The current work presents a novel strategy based on the use of superparamagnetic nanoparticles to obtain an endothelial cell lining on the luminal surface of vascular conduits, which can be detected non-invasively in a clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were prelabeled with clinically approved superparamagnetic nanoparticles. Cell viability and eNOS expression were not affected by the labelling procedure. Magnetically labelled cells were delivered onto the lumen of a PTFE tubular graft by a customised electromagnet. The endothelium was detected in a 1,5T MRI scanner. Magnetic cell delivery provides an efficient technique to seed tubular scaffolds enabling the non-invasive depiction of the cells from the substrate, thus providing a reliable tool to assess the quality of cell delivery procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetics*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Tissue Engineering*
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology*