Recent advances in the use of magnetic nanoparticles to promote neuroregeneration.
Falconieri A, De Vincentiis S, Raffa V
The complexity of the nervous system is one of the major obstacles for implementing effective strategies of neuroregeneration. During the regeneration process a large number of biological events, including axonal growth, spatial organization of different cell types, cell–cell interactions, cell–matrix interactions, need to be re-assembled. This process requires a cascade of sequential events, which are generally orchestrated by growth factors and signaling cues secreted by specific cell types. The structure reconstruction is often governed by cell migration and creation of a cell niche, which provides the required gradients of biochemical and biophysical signals. Based on the understanding of the basic principles governing a nerve regeneration process, there is a great potential to exploit this knowledge to create synthetic tools to promote or accelerate nerve repair. In this context, nanomedicine is offering extraordinary possibilities to cross biological barriers or to mimic specific components of the regeneration process, such as cell manipulation, cell stimulation, cell homing, spatio-temporally controlled delivery of signaling cues, etc. This commentary focuses on novel perspectives offered by magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) activated by noninvasive magnetic fields for promoting neuroregeneration or re-innervation in pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases or injuries.