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Abstract #3164

Imaging brain microenvironments of glial restricted precursor cells in injectable growth-factor supplemented hydrogels using CEST MRI

Kannie WY Chan 1,2 , Antje Arnold 1,3 , Ali Fatemi 4 , Michael Porambo 4 , Peter CM van Zjil 1,2 , Jeff WM Bulte 1,3 , Piotr Walczak 1,3 , and Michael T McMahon 1,2

1 Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States, 2 Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3 Institute for Cell Engineering, MD, United States, 4 Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States

Cell therapy has shown promise for treating neurological disorders, e.g. stroke, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. Primary challenges include protection and support of cell grafts after transplantation, along with methods to determine cell functionality. These would be important in refinement of treatments, allowing early evaluation of the success of cell therapy for restoring the lost function. Hydrogels have been used to protect and support therapeutic cells in such therapies, here, we show that CEST MRI allow imaging of the microenvironments, including pH, for specific injectable hydrogels suited for glial restricted precursor cells (GRPs).

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