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15 September 2011 High-performance imaging of stem cells using single-photon emissions
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Radiolabeled cells have been imaged for decades in the field of autoradiography. Recent advances in detector and microelectronics technologies have enabled the new field of "digital autoradiography" which remains limited to ex vivo specimens of thin tissue slices. The 3D field-of-view (FOV) of single cell imaging can be extended to millimeters if the low energy (10-30 keV) photon emissions of radionuclides are used for single-photon nuclear imaging. This new microscope uses a coded aperture foil made of highly attenuating elements such as gold or platinum to form the image as a kind of "lens". The detectors used for single-photon emission microscopy are typically silicon detectors with a pixel pitch less than 60 μm. The goal of this work is to image radiolabeled mesenchymal stem cells in vivo in an animal model of tendon repair processes. Single-photon nuclear imaging is an attractive modality for translational medicine since the labeled cells can be imaged simultaneously with the reparative processes by using the dual-isotope imaging technique. The details our microscope's two-layer gold aperture and the operation of the energy-dispersive, pixellated silicon detector are presented along with the first demonstration of energy discrimination with a 57Co source. Cell labeling techniques have been augmented by genetic engineering with the sodium-iodide symporter, a type of reporter gene imaging method that enables in vivo uptake of free 99mTc or an iodine isotope at a time point days or weeks after the insertion of the genetically modified stem cells into the animal model. This microscopy work in animal research may expand to the imaging of reporter-enabled stem cells simultaneously with the expected biological repair process in human clinical trials of stem cell therapies.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Douglas J. Wagenaar, Rex A. Moats, Neal E. Hartsough, Dirk Meier, James W. Hugg, Tang Yang, Dan Gazit, Gadi Pelled, and Bradley E. Patt "High-performance imaging of stem cells using single-photon emissions", Proc. SPIE 8143, Medical Applications of Radiation Detectors, 81430F (15 September 2011);

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