A novel approach to label bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells with mixed-surface PAMAM dendrimers

Nikolas Munro, Douglas Swanson, Julien Rossignol, Ajit Sharma, Gary Dunbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells has created enormous opportunities as a potential treatment for various diseases including neurodegenerative diseases. Given current techniques, such as Hoechst labeling, have safety and leakage issues, our study focused, as a proof-of-concept, on a new dendrimer-based technique for labeling these stem cells to ensure their efficacy and safety following transplantation into the brain of a healthy mice. Methods and results: The bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) were labeled using polyaminoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers following which their stemness based on their proliferation and differentiation ability were analyzed by gold standard methods. These labeled BM-MSCs were transplanted into the striatum of C57BL/6J mice and were tracked using in vivo imaging system (IVIS) and analyzed using tissue imaging, 2 weeks after transplantation. Our results showed that the dendrimer-labeled BM-MSCs were able to successfully maintain their stemness and were tracked in vivo following transplantation. Unlike Hoechst, we did not find the dendrimers to be leaking out of the cells and were very specific to the cells that up took the dendrimers. Moreover, no adverse events were found in the transplanted animals proving that this is a safer method. Conclusions: Labeling BM-MSCs using fluorescently tagged PAMAM dendrimers can be used as a potentially safe and efficient method for labeling cells, particularly stem cells, in vitro and in vivo following transplantation in rodents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStem Cell Research & Therapy
StatePublished - 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel approach to label bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells with mixed-surface PAMAM dendrimers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this