Application of magnetic nanoparticles in surgery-free delivery of stem cells to the retina

Scientists at the Centre for Macular Research, University of British Columbia have demonstrated for the first time that magnetized mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be delivered efficiently to the retina with a single intravenous injection. The MSCs, magnetized using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), were capable of specific retinal targeting through the use of an externally placed orbital magnet. Treatments in animal models have shown that statistically significant retinal concentrations of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) can be achieved. The technology may have significant clinical application in disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP).