Methods and Use of Labeling Cells with X-ray and Ultrasound-visible Agents

Abstract (Set) Cell tracking has found major applications in immune and stern cell therapy. This is commonly done with MRI and MR contrast agents, radionuclide imaging agents, or positron emission tomography agents. No methods exist for efficient radiopaque labeling and X-ray tracking of cells, nor acoustic labeling and cellular ultrasound imaging. As the latter two imaging modalities are the most ubiquitous and frequently used for interventional procedures and guided injections, suitable methods to label and track cells are highly desirable. The present invention describes methods and use of labeling cells with novel labeling agents that enables their noninvasive detection by X-ray and ultrasound. In addition, the compounds can increase the viability of cells before and after transplantation. Description (Set) Johns Hopkins University is seeking licensees for innovative ex vivo cell labeling methods for non-invasive in vivo detection of cell transplants. Cell-based therapies involve injection of exogenous cells into patients. Administration of insulin-producing cells to diabetic patients is just one example of a hopeful cell-based therapeutic strategy. A recognized hurdle to cell-based therapies is the localization and tracking of the therapeutic cells during cell injection. Mis-injection of cells outside of the target area is hard to discern using current methods. It is very difficult to monitor transplanted cells with X-ray, ultrasound or MRI modalities. The ability to track and monitor cells could potentially improve cell delivery strategies. To date, no efficient methods exist for X-ray tracking, radio-opaque or acoustic labeling and ultrasound imaging of cells. JHU scientists have determined several agents that are effective for direct labeling of injected cells. JHU scientists have determined that in some cases, the viability of the labeled cells is increased over viability of control cells.
• Labeling agents can be used as MR contrast agents, CT contrast agents or biomodal contrast agents for visualization with MR and X-Ray modalities to increase experimental and therapeutic flexibility.
• Fluorine-based labeling compounds have ideal qualities for labeling agents including physical characteristics, natural abundance and low detectable background concentration.
• Fluorine-based labeling agents allow clear distinction between native tissue and transplanted cells for accurate localization and tracking of injected cells in multimodal imaging for improved treatment evaluation.
• Direct visualization of labeled cells allows faster detection of misinjected cells and increases ability to accurately repeat cell injection, increase therapeutic efficacy to save time and money. Proposed Use (Set) This technology can be commercialized as diagnostic methods and kits using perfluorocarbon-based and magnetic contrast agents for labeling of stem or progenitor cells, immune cells or regenerative cells.

Inventor(s): Bulte, Jeff W. M. ,Barnett, Bradley,Arepally, Aravind

Type of Offer: Licensing

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