Johannes Riegler1,2, Baptiste Allain3,4, Richard J. Cook4, Quentin A. Pankhurst5, Mark F. Lythgoe1
1Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom; 2Centre for Mathematics & Physics in the Life Sciences & Experimental Biology (CoMPLEX), University College London, London, United Kingdom; 3Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC), University College London, London, United Kingdom; 4KCL Dental Institute, Biomaterials, Biomimetics & Biophotonics Group, Guys Hospital Campus, London, United Kingdom; 5Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, United Kingdom
One of the major challenges for cell transplantation therapies is the spatial localization and tracking of cells over time. MRI has been used for cell tracking while magnetic delivery strategies using permanent magnets have been tested in animal models. MR gradient coils could potentially be used to steer magnetically labeled cells through the vascular system to their target. We show that steering of cells in a flow phantom is feasible. Following this, we derived a simple mathematical model which predicts that cell aggregation is an important factor explaining our results. Additionally we confirmed cell aggregation via confocal endoscopy.