Bioconjug Chem 21:1673 (2010)
Liu D1, He X, Wang K, He C, Shi H, Jian L.
There is increasing interest in developing bioconjugated carriers for the cellular delivery of bioactive molecules to stem cells, since they can allow modulation of stem cell differentiation. The present study reported biocompatible silica nanoparticle-insulin conjugates for rat mesenchymal stem cell (RMSC) adipogenic differentiation in vitro. A systematic study was first carried out on the biocompatibility of the SiNPs with RMSCs. The cell viability assay was performed to screen the SiNP concentration for creating little cytotoxicity on RMSCs. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and adipogenesis and osteogenesis assays revealed that the pure SiNPs had no effect on cellular ultrastructures, adipogenic differentiation, and osteogenic differentiation. Under the optimized SiNP concentration with little cytotoxicity on RMSC and no effects on the RMSC phenotype, SiNP-insulin conjugates were prepared and used for RMSC adipogenic differentiation. Results showed that RMSCs had the ability to differentiate into adipocytes when cultured in the presence of insulin-conjugated SiNPs. This work demonstrated that the biological activity of insulin conjugated to the SiNPs was not affected and the SiNPs could be used as biocompatibile carriers of insulin for RMSC adipogenic differentiation, which would help to expand the new potential application of SiNPs in stem cell research.