A Magnetic Nanowire Substrate to Induce Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

  • Bashaer Bajaber

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the most widely used source for bone tissue engineering due to their capability of multipotent differentiation. The use of nanotechnology in biomedical applications and therapy has increased in recent years provides an elegant alternative in comparison to current tissue engineering methods. Magnetic nanowires have a high potential in the medical field, as they are biocompatible, are simple to fabricate, possess low cytotoxic effects and can be operated wirelessly via magnetic fields. A nanowire substrate (NW) can provide a surface with tunable elastic properties. Therefore, magnetic nanowires have many promising applications such as in cell therapy, cell separation, cancer treatment, and as a scaffold for cell culture. This thesis explores the effects of alternating magnetic field (AMF) as a biophysical stimulator of osteogenic differentiation of MSCs by culturing the stem cells on a magnetic iron (Fe) NW. To this end, Fe nanowires were fabricated through electrodeposition and interactions between the NW and cells were analysed by electron microscopy. An AMF was applied to the NW in order to induce a vibration. MSCs were exposed to different magnetic field intensities, 250 mT and 50 mT, for different application times, 12 hours on followed by 12 hours off for two days and 24 hours on followed by 12 hours off. Differentiation was determined through the assessment of osteogenic markers at the mRNA level by RT-PCR and at the protein level by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Different effects were observed on MSCs grown on Fe NWs following exposure to different magnetic field intensities and duration applications. MSC differentiation towards the osteogenic lineage increased with increased field intensities. The most enhanced osteogenic differentiation of MSCs was observed at 250 mT AMF for 12 hours, as evidenced by elevated osteogenic markers at mRNA level compared to that of an AMF free control. Based on these results, we proposed that culturing MSCs on magnetic nanomaterials has the potential to control and promote osteogenesis under magnetic field and without the addition of external differentiation factors. These findings provide a new tool for stem cell research as an effective technology for bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Date of AwardApr 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorJurgen Kosel (Supervisor)


  • Magnetic nanowires
  • Magnetic field
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Osteogenic differentiation

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