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Nanomedicine. 2011 Oct;7(5):647-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Gold nanoparticle labeling of cells is a sensitive method to investigate cell distribution and migration in animal models of human disease.

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Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A, Science Park, Trieste, Italy.


The ability to track cells in small-animal models of human disease is important because it gives the potential to improve our understanding of the processes of disease progression as well as our understanding of the therapeutic effects of interventions. In this study gold nanoparticles have been used as a permanent marker of implanted normal and malignant cell grafts in combination with a suitable x-ray apparatus. Using x-ray computed tomography the micrometric three-dimensional distribution of these marked cells could be displayed with penetration depth, high cell sensitivity and high spatial resolution in rodent models of human diseases. In principle the method allows quantification of cell numbers at any anatomical location over time in small animals.

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