As stem cells show great promise in regenerative therapy, stem cell-mediated therapeutic efficacy must be demonstrated through the migration and transplantation of stem cells into target disease areas at the pre-clinical level. In this study, we developed manganese-based magnetic nanoparticles with hollow structures (MnOHo) and modified them with the anti-human integrin β1 antibody (MnOHo-Ab) to enable the minimal-invasive monitoring of transplanted human stem cells at the pre-clinical level. Compared to common magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based stem cell monitoring systems that use pre-labeled stem cells with magnetic particles before stem cell injection, the MnOHo-Ab is a new technology that does not require stem cell modification to monitor the therapeutic capability of stem cells. Additionally, MnOHo-Ab provides improved T1 MRI owing to the hollow structure of the MnOHo. Particularly, the anti-integrin β1 antibody (Ab) introduced in the MnOHo targets integrin β1 expressed in the entire stem cell lineage, enabling targeted monitoring regardless of the differentiation stage of the stem cells. Furthermore, we verified that intravenously injected MnOHo-Ab specifically targeted human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) that were transferred to mice testes and differentiated into various lineages. The new stem cell monitoring method using MnOHo-Ab demonstrates whether the injected human stem cells have migrated and transplanted themselves in the target area during long-term stem cell regenerative therapy.
Keywords : Stem cell therapy, Stem cell monitoring, In vivo MR monitoring, Hollow MnO nanoparticle, Human anti-integrin β1 antibody