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

9 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBiomaterials Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Ferritin
  • Neural stem cell
  • Neurosphere
  • Self-renewal
  • Differentiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Ferritin nanoparticles for improved self-renewal and differentiation of human neural stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this