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Nanoparticles can track cells deep within living organisms

by homing in on targeted regions of the body."

Laboratory tests showed that the cells retained their usual surface markers and that they were still functional after the labeling process. The labeled cells were shown to migrate to and incorporate into blood vessels forming around tumors in mice.

The researchers believe the cells could soon be used in clinical settings. "Kathy and colleagues showed that we can scan for these cells at the same MRI field strength we are using in medical imaging," Wickline says. "Although we reported the first use of perfluorocarbon molecular imaging for detection of certain pathologies a few years ago, no one would have predicted that you could get enough signal from such small quantities of perfluorocarbons in labeled stem cells to actually see them. I think we've dispelled that notion, and the fluorine imaging approach already is becoming more popular for molecular imaging of various cell and tissue types."

Next the research group will evaluate how nanoparticle-labeled cells function in living organisms. "We'll track injected cells in real time and see where they accumulate and how long they live," Partlow says. "Then we'll go on to investigate how they work in therapeutic applications."


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Source:Washington University School of Medicine


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