Thomas W. Link1,2, Dian Arifin2,3, Chris M. Long1,2, Piotr Walczak2,3, Naser Muja2,3, Jeff W.M Bulte2,3
1Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Cellular Imaging Section, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
20-30% of patients with fulminant liver failure die waiting for a transplant due to shortage of donors. Microencapsulated human hepatocytes have the potential to provide a bridge to transplantation. Feridex was incorporated into novel protamine sulfate cross-linked alginate microcapsules to create MR-visible magnetocapsules. Magneto-encapsulated bioluminescent human hepatocytes were characterized in vitro, and injected into the peritoneal cavity of normal mice. Bioluminescent imaging and detection of human albumin by ELISA demonstrated that hepatocytes remained viable and functional for at least 2 weeks. Magnetocapsules were clearly visible as hypointensities throughout the peritoneal cavity.