Stem cell delivery to kidney via minimally invasive ultrasound-guided renal artery injection in mice

May Zaw Thin, Olumide Ogunlade, Joan Comenge, P. Stephen Patrick, daniel stuckey, Anna David, Mark Lythgoe, Paul Beard, Tammy Kalber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell-based therapies are promising treatments for various kidney diseases. However, the major hurdle in initiating therapeutic responses is the inefficiency of injection routes to deliver cells to the kidney parenchyma. Systemic injection, such as intravenous injection only delivers a small proportion of cells to the kidney. Whereas direct delivery, such as renal artery injection requires surgical procedures. A minimally invasive renal artery injection was therefore developed to enhance cell delivery to kidney. In this study, luciferase expressing human adipocyte derived stem cells (ADSC) were labelled with gold nanorods (GNR) and injected into the renal artery using ultrasound guidance. The ADSCs were tracked using bioluminescence and photoacoustic imaging serially over 7 days. Imaging confirmed that the majority of signal was within the kidney, indicative of successful injection and that the cells remained viable for 3 days. Histology showed co-localization of GNRs with ADSC staining throughout the kidney with no indication of injury caused by injection. These findings demonstrate that ultrasound-guided renal artery injection is feasible in mice and can successfully deliver a large proportion of cells which are retained within the kidney for 3 days. Therefore, the techniques developed here will be useful for optimising cell therapy in kidney diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7514
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020


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