Protocol for MicroRNA Transfer into Adult Bone Marrow-derived Hematopoietic Stem Cells to Enable Cell Engineering Combined with Magnetic Targeting

J Vis Exp. 2018 Jun 18;(136):57474. doi: 10.3791/57474.


While CD133+ hematopoietic stem cells (SCs) have been proven to provide high potential in the field of regenerative medicine, their low retention rates after injection into injured tissues as well as the observed massive cell death rates lead to very restricted therapeutic effects. To overcome these limitations, we sought to establish a non-viral based protocol for suitable cell engineering prior to their administration. The modification of human CD133+ expressing SCs using microRNA (miR) loaded magnetic polyplexes was addressed with respect to uptake efficiency and safety as well as the targeting potential of the cells. Relying on our protocol, we can achieve high miR uptake rates of 80-90% while the CD133+ stem cell properties remain unaffected. Moreover, these modified cells offer the option of magnetic targeting. We describe here a safe and highly efficient procedure for the modification of CD133+ SCs. We expect this approach to provide a standard technology for optimization of therapeutic stem cell effects and for monitoring of the administered cell product via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism*
  • Cell Engineering / methods*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • MicroRNAs