Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tests show bright future for gadonanotubes in stem cell tracking

15.11.2010
Gadonanotubes (GNTs) developed at Rice University are beginning to show positive results in a study funded by a federal stimulus grant through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last year.

The study has determined GNTs are effective in helping doctors track stems cells through the body by making them 40 times better than standard contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging. Contrast agents help doctors spot signs of disease or damage in MR images.

Researchers at Rice and the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston reported in the journal Biomaterials that mesenchymal stem cells drawn from pig bone marrow labeled with GNTs are easily spotted under MRI. The technique holds promise for tracking the progress of tagged cells as they travel through a patient's body.

Ultimately, the team hopes the magnetic properties of tagged stem cells will allow doctors to manipulate them in vivo and direct cells to specific locations -- in the heart, for instance -- where they can heal damaged tissue.

GNTs are carbon nanotubes that contain gadolinium, an element commonly used in designing contrast elements for use in MRI. Though toxic, gadolinium is chelated, or chemically bound, which makes it safer for injection into the body. But clinical agents like the gadolinium-based Magnevist cannot enter cells.

However, GNTs can. Invented in the lab of Rice chemistry professor Lon Wilson in 2005, the nanotubes sequester bundles of gadolinium ions, which enhance contrast in MRIs but cannot escape their carbon cages. This makes them biologically inert and safe for tagging cells from within.

The team found GNTs did not affect the stem cells' ability to differentiate into other types of cells or to self-renew, though work continues to characterize their ability to adhere to cell scaffolds under various conditions.

Lesa Tran, a fourth-year graduate student in Wilson's lab, was the primary author of the paper, and Wilson was corresponding author. Co-authors were Rice graduate student Ramkumar Krishnamurthy; Raja Muthupillai, a senior physicist at St. Luke's; and of the Texas Heart Institute: Maria da Graça Cabreira-Hansen, a research scientist; James Willerson, president and medical director; and Emerson Perin, medical director of the Stem Cell Center.

Primary funding for the project came from the $1 million NIH Challenge Grant, with additional funding by the National Science Foundation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.

Read the abstract here: http://tinyurl.com/34fpb5m.

Download artwork here: http://www.media.rice.edu/images/media/NEWSRELS/1108_gadonanotube.jpg

Caption: Dark spots are aggregates of gadonanotubes (GNTs) in the cytoplasm of a mesenchymal stem cell. Tests show GNTs are highly effective for tagging and tracking stem cells through magnetic resonance imaging. (Credit: Lesa Tran/Rice University)

Located in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. Known for its "unconventional wisdom," Rice is distinguished by its: size -- 3,279 undergraduates and 2,277 graduate students; selectivity -- 12 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources -- an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1; sixth largest endowment per student among American private research universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work.

David Ruth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rice.edu

Further reports about: GNTs MRI magnetic resonance magnetic resonance imaging stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>