Regenerative medicine would greatly benefit from a new platform technology that enabled measurable, controllable and targeting of stem cells to a site of disease or injury in the body. Superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles offer attractive possibilities in biomedicine and can be incorporated into cells, affording a safe and reliable means of tagging. This review describes three current and emerging methods to enhance regenerative medicine using magnetic particles to guide therapeutic cells to a target organ; track the cells using MRI and assess their spatial localization with high precision and influence the behavior of the cell using magnetic actuation. This approach is complementary to the systemic injection of cell therapies, thus expanding the horizon of stem cell therapeutics.
Keywords: MRI; SPION; cell tracking; magnetic actuation; magnetic targeting; regenerative medicine.