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Proceedings Paper

High-performance imaging of stem cells using single-photon emissions
Author(s): Douglas J. Wagenaar; Rex A. Moats; Neal E. Hartsough; Dirk Meier; James W. Hugg; Tang Yang; Dan Gazit; Gadi Pelled; Bradley E. Patt
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8143, Medical Applications of Radiation Detectors, 81430F (15 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.897497
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas J. Wagenaar, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (United States)
Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Rex A. Moats, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (United States)
Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Neal E. Hartsough, DxRay, Inc. (United States)
Dirk Meier, Gamma Medica, Inc. (United States)
James W. Hugg, Gamma Medica, Inc. (United States)
Tang Yang, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (United States)
Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Dan Gazit, Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States)
Gadi Pelled, Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States)
Bradley E. Patt, Gamma Medica, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8143:
Medical Applications of Radiation Detectors
H. Bradford Barber; Hans Roehrig; Douglas J. Wagenaar, Editor(s)

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