In Situ Magnetic Control of Macroscale Nanoligand Density Regulates the Adhesion and Differentiation of Stem Cells

Chandra Khatua, Sunhong Min, Hee Joon Jung, Hee Joon Jung, Hee Joon Jung, Jeong Eun Shin, Na Li, Indong Jun, Hui Wen Liu, Gunhyu Bae, Hyojun Choi, Min Jun Ko, Yoo Sang Jeon, Yu Jin Kim, Joonbum Lee, Minji Ko, Gyubo Shim, Hongchul Shin, Sangbum Lee, Seok ChungYoung Keun Kim, Jae Jun Song, Vinayak P. Dravid, Vinayak P. Dravid, Vinayak P. Dravid, Heemin Kang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Developing materials with remote controllability of macroscale ligand presentation can mimic extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling to regulate cellular adhesion in vivo. Herein, we designed charged mobile nanoligands with superparamagnetic nanomaterials amine-functionalized and conjugated with polyethylene glycol linker and negatively charged RGD ligand. We coupled negatively a charged nanoligand to a positively charged substrate by optimizing electrostatic interactions to allow reversible planar movement. We demonstrate the imaging of both macroscale and in situ nanoscale nanoligand movement by magnetically attracting charged nanoligand to manipulate macroscale ligand density. We show that in situ magnetic control of attracting charged nanoligand facilitates stem cell adhesion, both in vitro and in vivo, with reversible control. Furthermore, we unravel that in situ magnetic attraction of charged nanoligand stimulates mechanosensing-mediated differentiation of stem cells. This remote controllability of ECM-mimicking reversible ligand variations is promising for regulating diverse reparative cellular processes in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4188-4196
Number of pages9
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 2020


  • cell adhesion
  • charged nanoligand
  • reversible ligand movement
  • spatial ligand movement
  • stem cell differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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