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  • Writer's pictureResource for Molecular Imaging Agents for Precision Medicine

New research: In vivo tracking of unlabelled mesenchymal stromal cells by mannose-weighted CEST MRI

In the May issue of Nature Biomedical Engineering, the Bulte lab published their new work titled "In vivo tracking of unlabelled mesenchymal stromal cells by mannose-weighted chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI". This work was first authored by Yue Yuan and Congxiao Wang.


Previously, in vivo tracking of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) relied on using exogenous labels or reporter genes. However, using such imaging agents may change the cell’s properties and may dilute upon cell division. It also required cumbersome and expensive regulatory approval processes for clinical translation. In this work, researchers have exploited the high mannose expression on the cell membrane of MSCs for their label-free tracking by mannose-weighted CEST MRI, with the endogenous MRI signal only present when cells are alive and remain undifferentiated. One of the Bulte lab's current goals is to test if transplanted MSC-derived extracellular vesicles, an emerging new form of cell-free therapy, can be tracked in vivo in a similar fashion.

Read more about this cutting edge research here.

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