Rachela Popovtzer is Full Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine in the Faculty of Engineering at Bar Ilan University. She is also Vice Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and a member of the Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA). She has served as Head of the Bioengineering Track at Bar Ilan University, and a Visiting Professor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Prof. Popovtzer received her M.Sc. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University, and her B.Sc. in Physics from BIU. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Prof. Raoul Kopelman lab, University of Michigan. Prof. Popovtzer is a winner of numerous international grants and awards, such as the Intel Prize, Crown Foundation Award, EU Environment and Living foundation Prize, and the Atol Charitable Trust Fellow in Nanomedicine. Her current research interest focuses on the development of ’smart’ nanoprobes for theranostic applications.
Cell-based therapies show contradictory results in clinical trials, preventing their further advancement and application in humans. Vigorous elucidation of mechanisms underlying the long-term fate of transplanted cells is therefore critical.
To answer this need, we developed a technique for noninvasive cell tracking, applying gold nanoparticles and CT imaging. We then defined design principles for long-term and quantitative imaging of the therapeutic cells, in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We show that the cells can be tracked over long periods of time using CT, detecting as few as 500 cells and successfully monitoring their functionality. We also used image analysis tools to accurately quantify the number of cells in the muscle.
This cell tracking technology has the potential to advance the future of cell therapy, and become an essential tool in pre-clinical, as well as clinical trials.
Meir R, Betzer O, Motiei M, Kronfeld N, Brodie C, Popovtzer R. Design principles for noninvasive, longitudinal and quantitative cell tracking with nanoparticle-based CT imaging. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 13, 421 – 429, 2017.
Our PhD student Chen Ztror-Azankot gave an excellent talk on her research of PET-compatible liposomes for specific tumor detection at the annual BINA conference.More news
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