Ferritin nanoparticles for improved self-renewal and differentiation of human neural stem cells

Jung Seung Lee, Kisuk Yang, Ann Na Cho, Seung Woo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Biomaterials that promote the self-renewal ability and differentiation capacity of neural stem cells (NSCs) are desirable for improving stem cell therapy to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Incorporation of micro- and nanoparticles into stem cell culture has gained great attention for the control of stem cell behaviors, including proliferation and differentiation. Method: In this study, ferritin, an iron-containing natural protein nanoparticle, was applied as a biomaterial to improve the self-renewal and differentiation of NSCs and neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Ferritin nanoparticles were added to NSC or NPC culture during cell growth, allowing for incorporation of ferritin nanoparticles during neurosphere formation. Results: Compared to neurospheres without ferritin treatment, neurospheres with ferritin nanoparticles showed significantly promoted self-renewal and cell-cell interactions. When spontaneous differentiation of neurospheres was induced during culture without mitogenic factors, neuronal differentiation was enhanced in the ferritin-treated neurospheres. Conclusions: In conclusion, we found that natural nanoparticles can be used to improve the self-renewal ability and differentiation potential of NSCs and NPCs, which can be applied in neural tissue engineering and cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalBiomaterials Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 27

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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