Research Highlights

doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.151 Published online 10 November 2014

Fibrin nanoparticles aid bone cell growth

Researchers have synthesized magnetic fibrin nanoparticles from goat blood that could be used in bone tissue engineering1. These nanoparticles could also be used to deliver anticancer drugs and antimicrobial agents for wound healing.

Fibrin is a naturally occurring protein that supports cell attachment and proliferation in wound healing and bone formation. However, the roles of fibrin-based magnetic nanoparticles in bone tissue engineering have not previously been investigated.

The researchers isolated fibrin from goat blood and produced an iron-based magnetic solution based on the red blood cells. By mixing the fibrin with the magnetic solution, they synthesized the magnetic fibrin nanoparticles, which were spherical with diameters between 12 nm and 15 nm.

The researchers explored the biocompatibility and tissue-engineering potential of the fibrin nanoparticles by exposing different concentrations of these nanoparticles to a specific class of cells derived from human bone tumour. After five days, the nanoparticles were found to be biocompatible and significantly increased the proliferation of the cells. Fibrin, they say, initiates cell division and tissue formation by offering specific adhesion sites for different growth factors and extracellular matrix components.

An increase in the cellular levels of alkaline phosphatase signals the early onset of bone growth. The nanoparticle-treated cells showed significant increases in the levels of alkaline phosphatase after one and two weeks. “Besides labelling bone-regenerating stem cells, these nanoparticles could be used to track implanted stem cells through non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging,” says T. P. Sastry, a senior author of the study.


References

1. Periyathambi, P. et al. Osteogenic potency of magnetic fibrin nanoparticles — a novel perspective in bone tissue engineering. Mat. Lett. 139, 108–111 (2014)