Magnetic labeling and in vitro MR imaging of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

Jin Hua Cai, Gan Sheng Feng, Xin Wan, Han Ping Wu, Jian Nong Zhao, Da Jing Guo, Guo Rong Yu, Chuan Li, Guan Xin Liu, Shi Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To label rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells with feridex combined with poly-l-lysine (PLL), and to determine the feasibility of detection of magnetically labeled stem cells with MR imaging. Methods: Feridex were incubated with PLL for 1 hour to obtain a complex of feridex-PLL. Mesenchymal stem cells isolated from the bone marrows of Wistar rats were cultured and expanded. By the 4th passage, cells were co-incubated overnight with the feridex-PLL complex. Prussian blue staining for demonstrating intracytoplastic nanoparticles and trypan-blue exclusion test for cell viability were performed respectively at 24 h, 1 w, 2 w, 3 w after labeling. MR imaging of cell suspensions was performed by using T1 WI, T2 WI and T2* WI sequences at a clinical 1.5 T MR system. Results: Numerous intracytoplastic iron particles were stained with Prussian blue. With division of stem cells, the stained particles were seen decreased gradually. Trypan blue exclusion test at 24 h, 1 w, 2 w and 3 w showed that the viability of the labeled cells was 91.00%, 93.00%, 91.75%, and 92.50%, not significantly different with that of nonlabeled cells (P > 0.05). For 103, 104 and 105 cells, T2 signal intensity decreased by 63.75%, 82.31% and 91.92% respectively, T2* signal intensity decreased by 68.24%, 83.01%, and 93.94% respectively. For 105 labeled cells, T2* signal intensity decreased by 93.75%, 75.92%, 41.75% and 8.83% respectively at 24 h, 1 w, 2 w and 3 w after labeling. Conclusion: Magnetic labeling of rat bone marrow stem cells with feridex-PLL complex is feasible, efficient and safe. T2* WI is the most sensitive sequence to detect the labeled cells. The degree of T2 signal decreasing may be related to the cell count and division phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalZhonghua fang she xue za zhi Chinese journal of radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals, laboratory
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic labeling and in vitro MR imaging of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this