Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Human-Derived Amniotic Membrane Stem Cells Using PEGylated Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Physiology Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran;4Department of Physiology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The label and detection of cells injected into target tissues is an area of focus for researchers. Iron oxide nanoparticles can be used to label cells as they have special characteristics. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of iron oxide nanoparticles on human-derived amniotic membrane stem cell (hAMCs) survival and to investigate the magnetic properties of these nanoparticles with increased contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, we initially isolated mesenchymal stem cells from amniotic membranes and analyzed them by flow cytometry. In addition, we synthesized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and characterized them by various methods. The SPIONs were incubated with hAMCs at concentrations of 25-800 μg/mL. The cytotoxicity of nanoparticles on hAMCs was measured by the MTT assay. Next, we evaluated the effectiveness of the magnetic nanoparticles as MRI contrast agents. Solutions of SPION were prepared in water at different iron concentrations for relaxivity measurements by a 1.5 Tesla clinical MRI instrument.
The isolated cells showed an adherent spindle shaped morphology. Polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated SPIONs exhibited a spherical morphology. The average particle size was 20 nm and magnetic saturation was 60 emu/g. Data analysis showed no significant reduction in the percentage of viable cells (97.86 ± 0.41%) after 72 hours at the 125 μg/ml concentration compared with the control. The relaxometry results of this SPION showed a transverse relaxivity of 6.966 (μg/ml.s)-1
SPIONs coated with PEG used in this study at suitable concentrations had excellent labeling efficiency and biocompatibility for hAMCs.