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Activation of Schwann cells in vitro by magnetic nanocomposites via applied magnetic field

Authors Liu Z, Huang L, Liu L, Luo B, Liang M, Sun Z, Zhu S, Quan X, Yang Y, Ma T, Huang J, Luo Z

Received 15 September 2014

Accepted for publication 18 November 2014

Published 17 December 2014 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 43—61


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Zhongyang Liu,1,* Liangliang Huang,1,* Liang Liu,1,* Beier Luo,2,* Miaomiao Liang,3 Zhen Sun,1 Shu Zhu,1 Xin Quan,1 Yafeng Yang,1 Teng Ma,1 Jinghui Huang,1 Zhuojing Luo1

1Department of Orthopaedics, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, 2Department of Orthopaedics, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 3Department of Neurosurgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Schwann cells (SCs) are attractive seed cells in neural tissue engineering, but their application is limited by attenuated biological activities and impaired functions with aging. Therefore, it is important to explore an approach to enhance the viability and biological properties of SCs. In the present study, a magnetic composite made of magnetically responsive magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and a biodegradable chitosan–glycerophosphate polymer were prepared and characterized. It was further explored whether such magnetic nanocomposites via applied magnetic fields would regulate SC biological activities. The magnetization of the magnetic nanocomposite was measured by a vibrating sample magnetometer. The compositional characterization of the magnetic nanocomposite was examined by Fourier-transform infrared and X-ray diffraction. The tolerance of SCs to the magnetic fields was tested by flow-cytometry assay. The proliferation of cells was examined by a 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine-labeling assay, a PrestoBlue assay, and a Live/Dead assay. Messenger ribonucleic acid of BDNF, GDNF, NT-3, and VEGF in SCs was assayed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The amount of BDNF, GDNF, NT-3, and VEGF secreted from SCs was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. It was found that magnetic nanocomposites containing 10% MNPs showed a cross-section diameter of 32.33±1.81 µm, porosity of 80.41%±0.72%, and magnetization of 5.691 emu/g at 8 kOe. The 10% MNP magnetic nanocomposites were able to support cell adhesion and spreading and further promote proliferation of SCs under magnetic field exposure. Interestingly, a magnetic field applied through the 10% MNP magnetic scaffold significantly increased the gene expression and protein secretion of BDNF, GDNF, NT-3, and VEGF. This work is the first stage in our understanding of how to precisely regulate the viability and biological properties of SCs in tissue-engineering grafts, which combined with additional molecular factors may lead to the development of new nerve grafts.

Keywords: Schwann cell, magnetic field, nanocomposite, cell proliferation

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