Magnetic nanoparticles for nerve regeneration

Lead Research Organisation: University of Dundee
Department Name: Division of Imaging & Technology


Bioengineering research is exploring molecular and cell therapies alternative to surgical nerve grafting for the treatment of severe peripheral nerve injuries. However, to date there has been no progress of undoubted clinical benefit. The recent advances in nanoscience may provide new therapeutic possibilities as alternatives/supplements to established surgical techniques. Specifically, this project is concerned with the use of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) as functional nano-objects to enhance the nerve regeneration and provide guidance for the regenerating axons. MNPs could open the frontiers for new therapies based on the exploitation of the mechanical forces acting on MNP-bound neurons to promote axonal elongation/growth. Furthermore, the realization of MNPs functionalised with neurotrophic factors offers distinct possibilities for novel molecular therapy and, when bound to mesenchymal stem cells, MNPs may form the basis for more effective cell therapy.