Zirconium-89 cell labelling platforms for in vivo cell tracking with PET

Year of award: 2016


  • Dr Michelle Ma

    King's College London

Project summary

We will develop cell-labelling platforms based on the PET isotope 89Zr, allowing cell tracking in vivo for several days post-administration. These platforms combine novel chelators for attaching to peptides/proteins, and will anchor the radiolabel to the cell membrane or deliver it into the cell. 89Zr uptake and retention will be screened in myeloma, macrophage, leukocyte and stem cells. We will determine the subcellular location of 89Zr, the metabolic fate of chelator-peptide/protein conjugates and the effects of ionising radiation on labelled cells. Selected platforms will be investigated in mice using PET scanning, ex vivo biodistribution, and fluorescence activated cell sorting of homogenised cells from harvested organs.

Outcomes will include proof of principle of a new cell tracking platform, with clinical applications in cell-based therapies. This will allow us to develop, apply and translate the technology further in a wider collaborative programme.