Imaging of neural stem cells & tumour cells, to better understand interactions with host tissues

Collaboration with: The University of Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI) and Centre for Preclinical Imaging (CPI) 

Supported by the Wellcome Trust, Stream Bio and the Centre for Cell Imaging at Liverpool University have begun a project to monitor and track the interaction of multiple cell types transplanted in-vivo over time (up to 14 days consecutively) and how they interact with the host tissues.

Stem cell-based and more general cell therapies have shown promising results across many disciplines in medicine. However, several recent clinical studies have led to disappointing results due to the unknown fate of transplanted cells and the fundamental mechanisms underpinning their effects being poorly understood. This project will improve the understanding of the fate of transplanted cells.  Limitations to date have been due to the lack of a suitable labelling technology. However, Stream Bio’s highly stable, fluorescent labelling CPNs™ do not photobleach, are immensely brighter than conventional technologies, and have an iron-oxide component for MRI contrast enhancing – making them multi-modal and ideal reagents for this project. Using neural stem cells and brain tumour cells, labelled with multiple-colour CPNs, and the advanced imaging technologies at the University of Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging (CCI), and Centre for Preclinical Imaging (CPI), for cellular and in vivo imaging, the aim of the project is:

“..to understand and determine how neural undifferentiated (neural stem cells) / dedifferentiated cells (brain tumour cells) interact with the host tissue and vasculature, and how this environment impacts on their identity in terms of differentiation, survival and migratory capabilities.”

The project is expected to be completed later in 2020, with all partners extremely excited to see the results.