Dian Respati Arifin1,2, Kannie W.Y. Chan1,2, Guanshu Liu1,3, Amanda Cardona1, Muksit Jamil1, Jeff W.M. Bulte1,2, Michael T. McMahon1,3
1Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Cell Imaging Section, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 3F.M. Kirby Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States
Cell transplantation is a potential treatment for various diseases such as type I diabetes, liver failure and cardiovascular disorders. Encapsulation of cells inside semi-permeable microcapsules offers immunoprotection for the cells and recipient. We have developed new biodegradable microcapsules using polycationic peptides from our library of CEST agents that are detectable by MRI. These DIACEST capsules are pH-responsive and can be used to monitor biological events, which are accompanied by pH changes. Human pancreatic cells encapsulated inside these microcapsules were alive and functional for at least 27 days in vitro. We also demonstrate that these microcapsules can detect cell apoptosis in vitro.