Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), a type of stem cell that can be
generated directly from adult cells, offer great benefits for
regenerative medicine as they propagate indefinitely and can
differentiate into a variety of cell types, such as neurons, heart,
pancreatic, and liver cells.
In previous studies, the researchers have found that while
iPSC-derived neurons provide great opportunities for cell replacement
they also present challenges.
‘Real-time intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging not only allows for better visualization and monitoring of the procedure, but also helps cell survival.’
In a study using Real-time intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging
(RT-IMRI) to guide the transplantation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons into the brains of non-human primates modeled
with Parkinson's disease, researchers found that RT-IMRI guidance not
only allows for better visualization and monitoring of the procedure,
but also helps cell survival.
The study will be published in the upcoming special American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR) issue of Cell Transplantation
"Our team developed an MRI-compatible trajectory guidance system
that has been successful for intraoperative MRI," said study lead author
Dr. Marina E. Emborg, Preclinical Parkinson's Research Program Center,
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center University of
Wisconsin-Madison. "We recently upgraded the system for real-time
targeting and guidance and, as a result of the improvements, the
procedure provides several advances for cell delivery."
The researchers report that the advancements allow for real-time
pressure readings that can prevent clogging during cell delivery. They
also found a way to prevent exposure to air during the procedure. Both
advancements, in addition to real-time observation by MRI, add to the
procedure's efficacy and safety.
Using post-mortem brain analysis, the researchers found that the
transplanted cells grafted and survived well in the test animals after
"The application of the RT-IMRI system for intracerebral targeting
and delivery of iPSC-derived neuroprogenitors is feasible and presents
and the advantage of allowing monitoring of cell uploading and
infusion," concluded the researchers. "These methods will be
particularly valuable for clinical application where safety and efficacy
of the treatment is defined by the accurate delivery of cells."
"Cell therapy is the cornerstone of regenerative medicine for
neurodegenerative disease," said Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, Distinguished
Professor at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL and
Co-Editor-in-Chief for Cell Transplantation
. "With the advent
of iPSCs, the field has made significant advances. The current study
expounds upon those advances by addressing logistical concerns regarding
cell administration and tracking. This method has wide applicability
and may be relevant for not only Parkinson's disease, but other
neurodegenerative conditions as well."