StemCells, Inc. has announced the publication of a paper describing a new technique for non-invasive tracking of human neural stem cells transplanted into the brains of mice.
The technique involves tagging the human neural stem cells with Feridex®, a commonly used magnetic resonance imaging agent approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans.
Tagging the human neural stem cells in this way does not appear to alter the stem cells’ function or viability. The paper, entitled “Long-term monitoring of transplanted human neural stem cells in developmental and pathological contexts with magnetic resonance imaging,” appears in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The lead authors of the paper are Raphael Guzman, M.D., Clinical Instructor, Department of Neurosurgery, and Gary Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D, Bernard and Ronni Lacroute-William Randolph Hearst Professor of Neurosurgery and the Neurosciences and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, both of Stanford University School of Medicine.
Several researchers at StemCells, Inc. also worked on these studies and the human neural stem cells used were supplied by the Company.
"This is an important contribution to the field of human cellular transplantation. The ability to track non-invasively human neural stem cells transplanted into the brain could enhance our knowledge and understanding of where the cells go, how they get there and how they behave when they get to their final destination,” said Stephen Huhn M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P., Vice President and Head of Neural Program at StemCells, Inc.
"Ultimately, this could help the adoption of human cellular transplants into clinical practice. We are currently investigating the Company’s proprietary HuCNS-SC™ human neural stem cell product in a clinical trial for Batten disease and future studies could potentially employ this labeling agent,” he continued.