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Open Access Use of Magnetocapsules for In Vivo Visualization and Enhanced Survival of Xenogeneic HepG2 Cell Transplants

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Hepatocyte transplantation is currently being considered as a new paradigm for treatment of fulminant liver failure. Xeno- and allotransplantation studies have shown considerable success, but the long-term survival and immunorejection of engrafted cells need to be further evaluated. Using novel alginate‐protamine sulfate‐alginate microcapsules, we have coencapsulated luciferase-expressing HepG2 human hepatocytes with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles to create magnetocapsules that are visible on MRI as discrete hypointensities. Magnetoencapsulated cells survive and secrete albumin for at least 5 weeks in vitro. When transplanted intraperitoneally in immunocompetent mice, encapsulated hepatocytes survive for at least 4 weeks as determined using bioluminescent imaging, which is in stark contrast to naked, unencapsulated hepatocytes that died within several days after transplantation. However, in vivo human albumin secretion did not follow the time course of magnetoencapsulated cell survival, with plasma levels returning to baseline values already at 1 week post-transplantation. The present results demonstrate that encapsulation can dramatically prolong survival of xenotransplanted hepatocytes, leading to sustained albumin secretion with a duration that may be long enough for use as a temporary therapeutic bridge to liver transplantation.
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Keywords: Bioluminescent imaging; Cell transplantation; Fulminant liver failure; Iron nanoparticle contrast agent; Magnetic resonance imaging

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2012

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  • The importance of translating original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell therapy and its application to human diseases to society has led to the formation of the journal Cell Medicine. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, the same rigorous peer review will be applied to articles published in Cell Medicine. Articles may deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, and stem cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers may also be featured if they have a translational interest. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Medicine will report on relevant technological advances and their potential for translational medicine. Cell Medicine will be a purely online Open Access journal. There will therefore be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow your work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle you to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of your manuscript.

    Cell Medicine is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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