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Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013 Apr 23;4(2):44. doi: 10.1186/scrt191.

Biological activity and magnetic resonance imaging of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles-labeled adipose-derived stem cells.



No comparative study of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) by using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs)-labeling and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been performed.


We studied the biological activity and MRI of ADSCs by labeling them with SPIOs and comparing them with BMSCs. After incubating the cells in culture medium with different levels of SPIOs (control group: 0 μg/ml; Groups 1 to 3: 25, 50, and 100 μg/ml) for 24 hours, we compared ADSCs with BMSCs in terms of intracellular iron content, labeling efficiency, and cell viability. Stem cells in the culture medium containing 50 μg/ml SPIOs were induced into osteoblasts and fat cells. Adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potentials were compared. R2* values of MRI in vitro were compared.


The results showed that labeling efficiency was highest in Group 2. Intracellular iron content and R2* values increased with increasing concentrations of SPIOs, whereas cell viability decreased with increasing concentrations of SPIOs, and adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potentials decreased. However, we found no significant difference between the two kinds of cells for any of these indexes.


ADSCs can be labeled and traced as easily as BMSCs in vitro. Given their abundance and higher proliferative capacity, as was previously shown, ADSCs may be better suited to stem cell therapy than are BMSCs.

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