MRI-detectable pH nanosensors incorporated into hydrogels for in vivo sensing of transplanted-cell viability.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
McMahon MT
Author List: 
Chan KW
Liu G
Song X
Kim H
Yu T
Arifin DR
Gilad AA
Hanes J
Walczak P
van Zijl PC
Bulte JW
McMahon MT
Nat Mater
PubMed ID: 
Biocompatible nanomaterials and hydrogels have become an important tool for improving cell-based therapies by promoting cell survival and protecting cell transplants from immune rejection. Although their potential benefit has been widely evaluated, at present it is not possible to determine, in vivo, if and how long cells remain viable following their administration without the use of a reporter gene. Here, we report a pH-nanosensor-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that can monitor cell death in vivo non-invasively. We demonstrate that specific MRI parameters that change on cell death of microencapsulated hepatocytes are associated with the measured bioluminescence imaging radiance. Moreover, the readout from this pH-sensitive nanosensor can be directly co-registered with high-resolution anatomical images. All of the components of these nanosensors are clinical grade and hence this approach should be a translatable and universal modification of hydrogels.
Published Date: 
March, 2013

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