Improved cellular uptake of perfluorocarbon nanoparticles for in vivo murine cardiac 19 F MRS/MRI and temporal tracking of progenitor cells

Nanomedicine. 2019 Jun;18:391-401. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2018.10.014. Epub 2018 Nov 16.


Herein, we maximize the labeling efficiency of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) using perfluorocarbon nanoparticles (PFCE-NP) and 19F MRI detectability, determine the temporal dynamics of single-cell label uptake, quantify the temporal viability/fluorescence persistence of labeled CPCs in vitro, and implement in vivo, murine cardiac CPC MRI/tracking that could be translatable to humans. FuGENEHD-mediated CPC PFCE-NP uptake is confirmed with flow cytometry/confocal microscopy. Epifluorescence imaging assessed temporal viability/fluorescence (up to 7 days [D]). Nonlocalized murine 19F MRS and cardiac MRI studied label localization in terminal/longitudinal tracking studies at 9.4 T (D1-D8). A 4-8 fold 19F concentration increase is evidenced in CPCs for FuGENE vs. directly labeled cells. Cardiac 19F signals post-CPC injections diminished in vivo to ~31% of their values on D1 by D7/D8. Histology confirmed CPC retention, dispersion, and macrophage-induced infiltration. Intra-cardiac injections of PFCE-NP-labeled CPCs with FuGENE can be visualized/tracked in vivo for the first time with 19F MRI.

Keywords: Cardiac stem cells; Fluorine MRI; Macrophages; Perfluorocarbon nanoparticles; Tracking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Cell Tracking*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorine / chemistry*
  • Fluorocarbons / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Fluorocarbons
  • Fluorine