Researchers have observed that using intraoperative real-time MRI to guide induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons into the brains of non-human primates modeled with Parkinson’s disease yields better visualization and increased cell survival.
The study, which will be published in the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair issue of Cell Transplantation, was conducted at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Our team developed an MRI-compatible trajectory guidance system that has been successful for intraoperative MRI,” lead author Dr. Marina Emborg said in prepared remarks. “We recently upgraded the system for real-time targeting and guidance and, as a result of the improvements, the procedure provides several advances for cell delivery.”
Induced pluripotent stem cells are a type of stem cell that can propagate indefinitely and differentiate into various cell types. Previous work has shown that neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells hold potential for regenerative medicine.
In this study, researchers demonstrated that real-time pressure readings can help to prevent clogging during cell delivery. They also discovered a way to prevent air exposure during the procedure, adding to its efficacy and safety.
The researchers observed that the transplanted cells grafted and survived in the test animals using post-mortem brain analysis.
“Cell therapy is the cornerstone of regenerative medicine for neurodegenerative disease,” Paul Sanberg, co-editor-in-chief for Cell Transplantation, added. “With the advent of iPSCs, the field has made significant advances. The current study expounds upon those advances by addressing logistical concerns regarding cell administration and tracking. This method has wide applicability and may be relevant for not only Parkinson’s disease, but other neurodegenerative conditions as well.”