Neural stem cells (NSCs), which generate the main phenotypes of the nervous system, are multipotent cells and are able to differentiate into multiple cell types via external stimuli from the environment. The extraction, modification and re-application of NSCs have thus attracted much attention and raised hopes for novel neural stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine. However, few studies have successfully identified the distribution of NSCs in a live brain and monitored the corresponding extraction processes both in vitro and in vivo. To address those difficulties, in this study multi-functional uniform nanoparticles comprising an iron oxide core and a functionalized silica shell (Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2)(FITC)-CD133, FITC: a green emissive dye, CD133: anti-CD133 antibody) have been strategically designed and synthesized for use as probe nanocomposites that provide four-in-one functionality, i.e., magnetic agitation, dual imaging (both magnetic resonance and optical) and specific targeting. It is shown that these newly synthesized Fe(3)O(4)@SiO(2)(FITC)-CD133 particles have clearly demonstrated their versatility in various applications. (1) The magnetic core enables magnetic cell collection and T(2) magnetic resonance imaging. (2) The fluorescent FITC embedded in the silica framework enables optical imaging. (3) CD133 anchored on the outermost surface is demonstrated to be capable of targeting neural stem cells for cell collection and bimodal imaging.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry