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Carbon Dots for Tracking and Promoting Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great potential in tissue engineering and regeneration medicine. However, for clinical use, MSCs may be detrimental due to their uncertain fate during the transplantation. It is therefore highly desirable to develop biocompatible nanomaterials to integrate cell fate regulation with monitoring for MSCs-based therapy. Herein, we employ the recently developed citric acid-based carbon dots (CDs) and their derivative (Et-IPCA) for labeling and tracking of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs). We further investigate their biocompatibility and effects on the osteogenic differentiation of rBMSCs. These high-fluorescent probes provide labeling of rBMSCs by internalization without affecting cell viability or inducing apoptosis when the concentration was lower than 50 μg/mL. Importantly, the presence of the CDs and Et-IPCA facilitates high-efficiency osteogenic differentiation of rBMSCs through promoting osteogenic transcription and enhancing matrix mineralization. Compared to Et-IPCA, CDs considerably provides long-term tracking and promotes the differentiation of rBMSCs toward osteoblasts through the ROS-mediated MAPK pathway. Taken together, our results consistently demonstrate that carbon dots are capable of both tracking and enhancing osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. This study shed new light on the potential of carbon dots as a bifunctional tool in the thriving field of MSC-based therapy.

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Apr 2017, accepted on 12 Jun 2017 and first published on 14 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7BM00358G
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Carbon Dots for Tracking and Promoting Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    D. Shao, M. Lu, D. Xu, X. Zheng, Y. Pan, Y. Song, J. Xu, M. Li, M. Zhang, J. Li, G. Chi, L. Chen and B. Yang, Biomater. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7BM00358G

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