Interventional magnetic resonance imaging-guided cell transplantation into the brain with radially branched deployment

Mol Ther. 2015 Jan;23(1):119-29. doi: 10.1038/mt.2014.155. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Intracerebral cell transplantation is being pursued as a treatment for many neurological diseases, and effective cell delivery is critical for clinical success. To facilitate intracerebral cell transplantation at the scale and complexity of the human brain, we developed a platform technology that enables radially branched deployment (RBD) of cells to multiple target locations at variable radial distances and depths along the initial brain penetration tract with real-time interventional magnetic resonance image (iMRI) guidance. iMRI-guided RBD functioned as an "add-on" to standard neurosurgical and imaging workflows, and procedures were performed in a commonly available clinical MRI scanner. Multiple deposits of super paramagnetic iron oxide beads were safely delivered to the striatum of live swine, and distribution to the entire putamen was achieved via a single cannula insertion in human cadaveric heads. Human embryonic stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons were biocompatible with the iMRI-guided RBD platform and successfully delivered with iMRI guidance into the swine striatum. Thus, iMRI-guided RBD overcomes some of the technical limitations inherent to the use of straight cannulas and standard stereotactic targeting. This platform technology could have a major impact on the clinical translation of a wide range of cell therapeutics for the treatment of many neurological diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadaver
  • Catheterization
  • Cell Transplantation*
  • Corpus Striatum / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional / methods*
  • Putamen / surgery
  • Stereotaxic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Swine