Molecular Imaging and Biology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 465–472 | Cite as

Ferumoxytol Can Be Used for Quantitative Magnetic Particle Imaging of Transplanted Stem Cells

  • Hossein Nejadnik
  • Prachi Pandit
  • Olga Lenkov
  • Arian Pourmehdi Lahiji
  • Ketan Yerneni
  • Heike E. Daldrup-LinkEmail author
Research Article



To evaluate, if clinically translatable ferumoxytol nanoparticles can be used for in vivo detection and quantification of stem cell transplants with magnetic particle imaging (MPI).


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were labeled with ferumoxytol or ferucarbotran and underwent MPI, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Prussian blue staining, and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometry. Unlabeled, ferumoxytol, and ferucarbotran-labeled MSCs were implanted in calvarial defects of eight mice and underwent MPI, MRI, and histopathology. The iron concentration calculated according to the MPI signal intensity and T2 relaxation times of the three different groups were compared using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Bonferroni correction, and a p < 0.05.


Compared to unlabeled controls, ferumoxytol- and ferucarbotran-labeled MSC showed significantly increased iron content, MPI signal and MRI signal. The ferumoxytol MPI signal was approximately 4× weaker compared to ferucarbotran at equimolar concentrations (p = 0.0003) and approximately 1.5× weaker for labeled cells when using optimized labeling protocols (p = 0.002). In vivo, the MPI signal of ferumoxytol-labeled MSC decreased significantly between day 1 and day 14 (p = 0.0124). This was confirmed by histopathology where we observed a decrease in Prussian blue stain of MSCs at the transplant site. The MRI signal of the same transplants did not change significantly during this observation period (p = 0.93).


Ferumoxytol nanoparticles can be used for in vivo detection of stem cell transplants with MPI and provide quantitative information not attainable with MRI.

Key Words

Stem cell MRI MPI Molecular imaging 


Funding Information

This work was supported by a grant from the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation and a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) grant no. 4R01AR054458-09.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Prachi Pandit holds equity interest in Magnetic Insight Inc.


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Copyright information

© World Molecular Imaging Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Nejadnik
    • 1
  • Prachi Pandit
    • 2
  • Olga Lenkov
    • 1
  • Arian Pourmehdi Lahiji
    • 1
  • Ketan Yerneni
    • 1
  • Heike E. Daldrup-Link
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Pediatric Molecular Imaging Program in the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Department of RadiologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Magnetic Insight IncAlamedaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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