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Nat Nanotechnol. 2013 Sep;8(9):682-9. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2013.147. Epub 2013 Aug 4.

Tracking the engraftment and regenerative capabilities of transplanted lung stem cells using fluorescent nanodiamonds.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Program in Molecular Medicine, School of Life Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan.


Lung stem/progenitor cells are potentially useful for regenerative therapy, for example in repairing damaged or lost lung tissue in patients. Several optical imaging methods and probes have been used to track how stem cells incorporate and regenerate themselves in vivo over time. However, these approaches are limited by photobleaching, toxicity and interference from background tissue autofluorescence. Here we show that fluorescent nanodiamonds, in combination with fluorescence-activated cell sorting, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and immunostaining, can identify transplanted CD45(-)CD54(+)CD157(+) lung stem/progenitor cells in vivo, and track their engraftment and regenerative capabilities with single-cell resolution. Fluorescent nanodiamond labelling did not eliminate the cells' properties of self-renewal and differentiation into type I and type II pneumocytes. Time-gated fluorescence imaging of tissue sections of naphthalene-injured mice indicates that the fluorescent nanodiamond-labelled lung stem/progenitor cells preferentially reside at terminal bronchioles of the lungs for 7 days after intravenous transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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