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Cell Viability and Noninvasive In Vivo MRI Tracking of 3D Cell Encapsulating Self-Assembled Microcontainers

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Several molecular therapies require the implantation of cells that secrete biotherapeutic molecules and imaging the location and microenvironment of the cellular implant to ascertain its function. We demonstrate noninvasive in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of self-assembled microcontainers that are capable of cell encapsulation. Negative contrast was obtained to discern the microcontainer with MRI; positive contrast was obtained in the complete absence of background signal. MRI on a clinical scanner highlights the translational nature of this research. The microcontainers were loaded with cells that were dispersed in an extracellular matrix, and implanted both subcutaneously and in human tumor xenografts in SCID mice. MRI was performed on the implants, and microcontainers retrieved postimplantation showed cell viability both within and proximal to the implant. The microcontainers are characterized by their small size, three dimensionality, controlled porosity, ease of parallel fabrication, chemical and mechanical stability, and noninvasive traceability in vivo.
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Keywords: Cell encapsulation; Cell therapy; Implantation; Magnetic resonance microscopy; Microcapsules; Self-assembly

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX, USA, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA 2: The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA 3: Department of Chemical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles 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, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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

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