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Cell Labeling and Targeting with Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles. J Vis Exp 2015 Oct 19(105):e53099 PMID: 26554870 PMCID: PMC4692653

Pubmed ID





Targeted delivery of cells and therapeutic agents would benefit a wide range of biomedical applications by concentrating the therapeutic effect at the target site while minimizing deleterious effects to off-target sites. Magnetic cell targeting is an efficient, safe, and straightforward delivery technique. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) are biodegradable, biocompatible, and can be endocytosed into cells to render them responsive to magnetic fields. The synthesis process involves creating magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles followed by high-speed emulsification to form a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) coating. The PLGA-magnetite SPIONs are approximately 120 nm in diameter including the approximately 10 nm diameter magnetite core. When placed in culture medium, SPIONs are naturally endocytosed by cells and stored as small clusters within cytoplasmic endosomes. These particles impart sufficient magnetic mass to the cells to allow for targeting within magnetic fields. Numerous cell sorting and targeting applications are enabled by rendering various cell types responsive to magnetic fields. SPIONs have a variety of other biomedical applications as well including use as a medical imaging contrast agent, targeted drug or gene delivery, diagnostic assays, and generation of local hyperthermia for tumor therapy or tissue soldering.

Author List

Tefft BJ, Uthamaraj S, Harburn JJ, Klabusay M, Dragomir-Daescu D, Sandhu GS


Brandon J. Tefft PhD Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84946423336   5 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Contrast Media
Drug Delivery Systems
Lactic Acid
Magnetite Nanoparticles
Polyglycolic Acid
jenkins-FCD Prod-310 bff9d975ec7f2d302586822146c2801dd4449aad