MRI tracking of human Wharton’s jelly stem cells seeded onto acellular dermal matrix labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in burn wounds

Burns Trauma. 2022 Nov 11;10:tkac018. doi: 10.1093/burnst/tkac018. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: In vivo cell tracking after transplantation in regenerative medicine remains an unmet challenge and limits current understanding of the wound healing mechanism through cell-based therapies. This study investigated tracking of human Wharton’s jelly stem cells (hWJSCs) seeded onto an acellular dermal matrix (ADM) and labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in burn injury.

METHOD: The hWJSCs were characterized and assessed for growth kinetics. A total of 30 rats were enrolled in three equal groups. Group 1 underwent scald burn injury left without treatment, the group 2 was treated by an ADM that was prepared from cosmetic surgery skin samples and the group 3 received hWJSCs labeled with SPIONs seeded onto an ADM. Tensile strength was evaluated before and after interventions, real time PCR assessed apoptosis, and Prussian blue staining, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and MRI were used for the tracking of labeled cells.

RESULTS: The hWJSCs exhibited mesenchymal stem cell properties. Population doubling time was 40.1 hours. SPIONs did not show any toxic effect. The hWJSCs seeded onto an ADM decreased Bax and increased Bcl-2 gene expression. Internalization of SPIONs within hWJSCs was confirmed by Prussian blue staining, SEM and MRI until day 21. There was a significant difference between the Young’s moduli of normal skin and the group receiving hWJSCs seeded onto an ADM. Histological observations and SEM imaging confirmed that MRI is an accurate method to track SPION-labeled hWJSCs in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that SPION labeling coupled with MRI can be used to further understand the fate of stem cells after transplantation in a burn model.

PMID:36380853 | PMC:PMC9664564 | DOI:10.1093/burnst/tkac018


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