ANCHOR LEAD: AS MORE THERAPIES INVOLVING CELLS ARE DEVELOPED, A MEANS TO TRACK THEM IS WELCOME, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
When a cell, such as a stem cell, is injected into the body, how do we really know where it goes? Until now, the answer was with difficulty, but a new technique developed at Johns Hopkins may change that. Using a type of gene called a reporter gene, paired with MRI, researchers led by Assaf Gilad, the study’s lead author, can now pinpoint cellular locations. Gilad describes the technique’s impact.
GILAD: It is important because it helps label specific cells so we can detect them noninvasively with MRI, magnetic resonance imaging. You can label transplanted cells, for example, stem cells or immune system cells, that you can isolate from a donor, label them with this gene, and detect them later on after transplantation. :23
Such a technique should help assess the success of cell-based therapies such as stem cell transplantation. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.