Vascular occlusion can result in fatal myocardial infarction, stroke or loss of limb in peripheral arterial disease. Interventional balloon angioplasty is a common first line procedure for vascular disease treatment, but long term success is limited by restenosis and neointimal hyperplasia. Cellular therapies have been proposed to mitigate these issues; however efficacy is low, in part due to poor cell retention. We show that magnetic targeting of mesenchymal stem cells gives rise to a 6-fold increase in cell retention following balloon angioplasty in a rabbit model using a clinically applicable permanent magnet. Cells labelled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles exhibit no negative effects on cell viability, differentiation or secretion patterns. The increase in stem cell retention leads to a reduction in restenosis three weeks after cell delivery.
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