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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4 (2007), Issue 1, Pages 77-82
Original Article

Use of Magnetic Nanoparticles to Visualize Threadlike Structures inside Lymphatic Vessels of Rats

1Biomedical Physics Laboratory, FPRD School of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Materials Chemistry Laboratory, School of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Research Institute of Basic Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Received 16 December 2005; Accepted 25 July 2006

Copyright © 2007 Hyeon-Min Johng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A novel application of fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles was made to visualize a new tissue which had not been detectable by using simple stereomicroscopes. This unfamiliar threadlike structure inside the lymphatic vessels of rats was demonstrated in vivo by injecting nanoparticles into lymph nodes and applying magnetic fields on the collecting lymph vessels so that the nanoparticles were taken up by the threadlike structures. Confocal laser scanning microscope images of cryosectioned specimens exhibited that the nanoparticles were absorbed more strongly by the threadlike structure than by the lymphatic vessels. Further examination using a transmission electron microscope revealed that the nanoparticles had been captured between the reticular fibers in the extracellular matrix of the threadlike structures. The emerging technology of nanoparticles not only allows the extremely elusive threadlike structures to be visualized but also is expected to provide a magnetically controllable means to investigate their physiological functions.