Single-cell tracking of therapeutic cells using Laser Ablation–Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometry

2015-02-12T16:18:04Z (GMT) by Amy J. Managh
Cellular therapy is emerging as a clinically viable strategy in the field of solid organ transplantation, where it is expected to reduce the dependency on conventional immunosuppression. This has produced a demand for highly sensitive methods to monitor the persistence and tissue distribution of administered cells in vivo. However, tracking cells presents significant challenges. In many cases transplanted cells are autologous with the immune system of the transplant recipient, and hence are invisible to typical methods of detection. To enable their differentiation, the cells must be labelled with a suitable, non-toxic and long lifetime label, prior to their administration to patients. In addition, administered cells represent only a small fraction of the recipient’s endogenous cells, which necessitates the use of an extremely sensitive detection method. Laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is an exquisitely sensitive analytical technique, capable of imaging trace elements in complex samples, at high spatial resolution. [Continues.]