Improving Stem Cell Delivery to the Trabecular Meshwork Using Magnetic Nanoparticles

E. J. Snider, K. P. Kubelick, K. Tweed, R. K. Kim, Y. Li, K. Gao, A. T. Read, S. Emelianov, C. R. Ethier
Scientific Reports2018
Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness and is frequently associated with elevated intraocular pressure. The trabecular meshwork (TM), the tissue that primarily regulates intraocular pressure, is known to have reduced cellularity in glaucoma. Thus, stem cells, if properly delivered to the TM, may offer a novel therapeutic option for intraocular pressure control in glaucoma patients. For this purpose, targeted delivery of stem cells to the TM is desired. Here, we used magnetic nanoparticles (Prussian blue nanocubes [PBNCs]) to label mesenchymal stem cells and to magnetically steer them to the TM following injection into the eye’s anterior chamber. PBNC-labeled stem cells showed increased delivery to the TM vs. unlabeled cells after only 15-minute exposure to a magnetic field. Further, PBNC-labeled mesenchymal stem cells could be delivered to the entire circumference of the TM, which was not possible without magnetic steering. PBNCs did not affect mesenchymal stem cell viability or multipotency. We conclude that this labeling approach allows for targeted, relatively high-efficiency delivery of stem cells to the TM in clinically translatable time-scales, which are necessary steps towards regenerative medicine therapies for control of ocular hypertension in glaucoma patients.

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