Structural responses of cells to intracellular magnetic force induced by superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

Han Shen, Sheng Tong, Gang Bao, Biao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper, we study the effects of intracellular force on human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We generated intracellular force on endothelial cells under different magnetic fields using the cell uptake of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Cell responses to intracellular force were observed using fluorescent microscopy. Our results indicated that nanoparticles were taken up by the cell by endocytosis and were deposited in lysosomes. Nanoparticles and lysosomes inside the cell could be relocated by the application of a magnetic force. The intracellular magnetic force could also be used to accelerate cell migration by adjusting the magnetic fields and giving the cell free culture space. No cytotoxicity of nanoparticles was found in our experiments. By comparing intracellular relocalization with migration of the whole cell, we obtained a better understanding of the self-defence mechanisms of cells based on their mechanical properties. Based on the promising mechanical properties and low cytotoxicity of our magnetic nanoparticles, their potential applications in cytomechanics and cell patterning are discussed. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1914-1920
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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