Imaging of a high concentration of iron labeled cells with positive contrast in a rat knee

Sergey Magnitsky, Stephan Pickup, Michael Garwood, Djaudat Idiyatullin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Purpose: The sweep imaging with Fourier transformation (SWIFT) imaging technique has been shown to provide positive contrast from diluted cell suspensions labeled with super-paramagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) in a tissue, as an alternative to T2*-weighted imaging. Here we demonstrate a variation of the SWIFT technique that yields a hyperintense signal from a concentrated cell suspension. The proposed technique provides minimal background signal from host tissue and facilitates visualization of injected cells. Methods: The proton resonance frequency and linewidth were determined for SPIO solutions of different concentrations. The original SWIFT sequence was modified and a dual saturation Gaussian shape RF pulse with ~200 Hz bandwidth was incorporated into the acquisition protocol to suppress host tissue and fat signals. This modification of the original acquisition protocol permits the detection of a hyperintense signal from grafted cells with minimal background signal from the host tissue. Results: SPIO particles not only induce broadening of NMR line-width but also an initiate proton resonance frequency shift. This shift is linearly proportional to the concentration of the iron oxide particles and induced by the bulk magnetic susceptibility of SPIOs. The shift of the resonance frequency of iron labeled cells allowed us effectively suppress the host tissues with saturation RF pulse to improve MRI detection of grafted cells. Conclusions: Iron oxide particles increase the resonance frequency of water proton signal. This shift permitted us to add the tissue/fat saturation RF pulse into the original SWIFT acquisition protocol and detect distinct hyperintense signals from grafted cells with minimal background signal from the host tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1947-1954
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019



  • cell tracking
  • hypointense signal
  • iron oxide
  • positive contrast
  • susceptibility

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