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Abstract #0427

Viral-CEST: Exploiting AAV capsids as endogenous CEST agents for tracking of viral cell transduction 

Mark Velasquez1, Laurel Nelson1, Bonnie Lam1, Kevin Godines1, Soo Hyun Shin1, and Moriel Vandsburger1
1Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States

Viral vectors, including adeno-associated viruses (AAV), are increasingly used for therapies that utilize somatic cell gene editing. Validation of successful delivery of gene editing machinery requires biopsy, which is a fundamental barrier to development of gene therapy. Research into chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST)-MRI contrast agents has yielded numerous targeted and pH sensitive exogenous agents for diagnostic purposes. In this study we demonstrated that CEST-MRI can detect the abundant serine, threonine, and lysine residues on AAV capsid surfaces across serotypes that are responsible for targeted receptor binding; further that transduction of cells by AAV2 can be detected by CEST.

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