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Abstract #4268

An efficient cell-permeable T1 contrast agent for labeling and tracking human embryonic stem cells on MRI

Inga Elisabeth Haedicke1,2, Sadi Loai1,2, and Hai-Ling Margaret Cheng1,2,3

1Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2Translational Biology and Engineering Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, 3The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent and, thus, have enormous potential as therapeutic cells in regenerative medicine. Non-invasive tracking of transplanted cells is critical for advancing cell-based therapies. MRI has emerged as an important technique for monitoring the fate of transplanted cells. However, conventional cellular MRI uses superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs) that have limited specificity. To improve specificity, we developed a highly efficient, cell-permeable T1 agent for labeling hESCs without affecting cell viability, proliferation, or function. MR imaging of transplanted hESCs demonstrates sensitive detection of labeled cells in vivo.

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