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Abstract #1513

­ Injectable alginate hydrogel for supporting neural stem cells and imaging of survival using chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST)

Antje Arnold1,2, Yuguo Li1,3, Guanshu Liu1,3, Peter C.M. van Zijl1,3, Jeff W.M. Bulte1,2, Piotr Walczak1,2, and Kannie WY Chan1,3

1Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States, 2Cellular Imaging Section and Vascular Biology Program, Institute for Cell Engineering, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3FM Kirby Research Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States

Cell therapy is showing promise in treating neurological disorders, but cell survival after transplantation is usually low, which is a major limiting factor for achieving therapeutic efficacy. One of the major hurdles in translating cell therapies to patients is the lack of non-invasive approaches to monitor the cells and their microenvironment after transplantation. We developed an injectable alginate hydrogel that supports cell survival and allows monitoring of cell status using liposomes as the nanosensors after transplantation into the brain. Hydrogel embedded cells survived better as compared to the cells without the hydrogel, and cells transplanted using the nanosensor-labeled hydrogel could be imaged using CEST-MRI.

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