(194d) Labeling Neural Stem Cells Using Trackable Ultrasmall Iron Oxide Nanoparticle for Cell Transplantation Therapy

Authors: 
Park, S., The University of Alabama
Kim, Y., The University of Alabama
Bao, Y., University of Alabama
Sherwood, J., The University of Alabama
Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is starting to be used in clinical trials for regenerative rehabilitation in spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other neurodegenerative diseases. However, proper tracking of the transplanted NSCs is challenging. Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is broadly used after NSC transplantation. Gadolinium (Gd) has been used as a MRI contrast agent because of its high resolution imaging. However, Gd contrast agents cause several adverse reactions such as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, allergy-like reactions, and Gd retention in tissues. Another disadvantage is that Gd is not able to be track the NSCs long term while they are migrating to lesions. To circumvent these disadvantages of Gd, we labeled NSCs using ultrasmall iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe-USNPs). We were able to confirm the tracking of Fe-USNPs in NSCs over a week after their uptake by Prussian blue staining and MRI. We were also able to grow NSCs as neurospheres followed by the addition of the Fe-USNPs and verified their viability and stemness using stem cell markers and differentiation markers. These early results show promise to adapt the Fe-USNP labeling strategy for improved tracking of transplanted NSCs in the clinic in the future.