Compact MRI in the Assessment of Teratoma Formation – A Breakthrough in Stem Cell Research
A newly-released research paper assesses the ability of Aspect Imaging’s M-Series Compact Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) System to detect teratoma formation in mice.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is gaining popularity as an effective tool for preclinical toxicologic pathology. It allows non-invasive monitoring of toxic compounds or drugs, can help identify the location of lesions, and can be used to locate injection sites preoperatively. In contrast to conventional MRI systems, Compact MRI can provide researchers and pharmacologists with significantly improved tools to assess the potential toxicity of injected stem cells and additional treatments. Additionally, such systems can circumvent the two major hurdles limiting the use of MRI in preclinical safety trials, namely, the relatively high cost of MRI, and its complexity of use.
This study is said to be the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of compact MRI systems for the detection of teratoma following intrathecal injection of ESCs.
Although the study focused on the detection of teratomas, the study brings findings to show that in vivo and ex vivo MRI can be applied widely to carcinogenicity studies, such as analyzing liver and kidney models, and can be used for determining between benign and malignant tumors. The fact that MRI can cover the whole body of the animal enables the evaluation of the effects of tumors on adjacent tissues and overall systemic conditions. Such methods can also be used for real-time follow-up of the therapeutic effects of different anti-cancer treatments.
This study shows the efficacy of compact MRI systems in the detection of small teratomas, and can serve as a proof of concept that the use of MRI in longitudinal studies offers a new monitoring strategy for preclinical testing of stem cell applications.