Hong Li1, 2, Jianjun Wang3, Qianqian Li3, Mengfan Yan4, Guojun Wu4, Yimin Shen2, Ewart Mark Haacke2, Jiani Hu2
1Radiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China; 2Radiology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States; 3Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, United States; 4Pharmacology, Karmanos Cancer Institute,Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, United States
Stem cell-based cell-converting therapy is considered to be a future therapeutic strategy for cancer. In order to efficiently deliver cell-converting cancer therapy in a clinical setting, there is a need for a non-invasive imaging technique that confirms the successful targeted delivery of therapeutics. QQ-ferritin was prepared for labeling 4T1- protein-induced pluripotent stem cells (piPSCs) and effects of the labeling on cell viability were examined. A subcutaneous model was used to evaluate the sensitivity of in vivo MRI detection and a metastatic 4T1 model was used to study the feasibility of MRI tracking 4T1-piPSCs homing to primary and metastatic tumors. Major findings of this study are: 1) the QQ technique can label cells with virtually toxicity-free ferritin for MRI cell-tracking, 2) QQ-labeled ferritin does not affect cell viability, 3) 4T1-piPSCs can home to both primary and metastatic tumors and 4) ferritin-labeled 4T1-piPSC offers high sensitivity for MRI detection.