New Nanomedicine Improves Stem Cell Therapy, May Help Regenerate Healthy Heart Tissue
Stem cell transplantation is a promising strategy for therapeutic cardiac regeneration, but current therapies are limited by inefficient interaction between potentially beneficial cells (either exogenously transplanted or endogenously recruited) and the injured tissue. Here we apply targeted nanomedicine to achieve in vivo cell-mediated tissue repair, imaging and localized enrichment without cellular transplantation. Iron nanoparticles are conjugated with two types of antibodies (one against antigens on therapeutic cells and the other directed at injured cells) to produce magnetic bifunctional cell engager (MagBICE). The antibodies link the therapeutic cells to the injured cells, whereas the iron core of MagBICE enables physical enrichment and imaging. We treat acute myocardial infarction by targeting exogenous bone marrow-derived stem cells (expressing CD45) or endogenous CD34-positive cells to injured cardiomyocytes (expressing myosin light chain). Targeting can be further enhanced by magnetic attraction, leading to augmented functional benefits. MagBICE represents a generalizable platform technology for regenerative medicine.