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Open Access Functionalizable Silica-Based Micron-Sized Iron Oxide Particles for Cellular Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Abstract:

Cellular therapies require methods for noninvasive visualization of transplanted cells. Micron-sized iron oxide particles (MPIOs) generate a strong contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and are therefore ideally suited as an intracellular contrast agent to image cells under clinical conditions. However, MPIOs were previously not applicable for clinical use. Here, we present the development and evaluation of silica-based micron-sized iron oxide particles (sMPIOs) with a functionalizable particle surface. Particles with magnetite content of >40% were composed using the sol-gel process. The particle surfaces were covered with COOH groups. Fluorescein, poly-L-lysine (PLL), and streptavidin (SA) were covalently attached. Monodisperse sMPIOs had an average size of 1.18 µm and an iron content of about 1.0 pg Fe/particle. Particle uptake, toxicity, and imaging studies were performed using HuH7 cells and human and rat hepatocytes. sMPIOs enabled rapid cellular labeling within 4 h of incubation; PLL-modified particles had the highest uptake. In T2*-weighted 3.0 T MRI, the detection threshold in agarose was 1,000 labeled cells, whereas in T1-weighted LAVA sequences, at least 10,000 cells were necessary to induce sufficient contrast. Labeling was stable and had no adverse effects on labeled cells. Silica is a biocompatible material that has been approved for clinical use. sMPIOs could therefore be suitable for future clinical applications in cellular MRI, especially in settings that require strong cellular contrast. Moreover, the particle surface provides the opportunity to create multifunctional particles for targeted delivery and diagnostics.

Keywords: Cell transplantation; Hepatocyte transplantation; Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Silica; Theranostics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/096368912X661382

Publication date: 2013-11-05

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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.
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