Rachela Popovtzer is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and a member of the Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), Israel. She received her B.Sc. degree in physics from BIU and her M.Sc. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Michigan with Prof. Raoul Kopelman. Popovtzer joined the faculty of Engineering in 2008, here she is currently the head of the Bioengineering track and the Laboratory for Nano-medicine. Rachela Popovtzer is a winner of numerous international grants and awards, such as the Intel Prize, the EU Environment and Living foundation Prize and the Atol Charitable Trust Fellow in Nano Medicine. Her current research interest focuses on the development of ’smart’ nanoprobes for theranostic applications.
Contradictory results in clinical trials prevent the advancement and implementation of cell-based therapy. Thus, science must uncover the mystery which enveils the fate of transplanted cells.
To answer this need, we developed a technique for noninvasive cell tracking, applying gold nanoparticles and CT imaging. We further 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.
For further details, please see our study ('Publications' tab in the Menu):
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 latest research was featured on the cover of Theranostics.
Our study shows that molecular profiling can enhance radiotherapy. Using personalized targeted gold nanoparticles, we enhanced the radiosensitivity and imaging of adenoid cystic carcinoma.
EU Awards €6 Million to our multidisciplinary HORIZON 2020 consortium, funding our nTRACK project led by Prof. Popovtzer.
nTRACK aims to develop a multimodal nanoparticle for tracking of stem cell therapy. The particle will be ready for clinical testing on human beings within four years.
Read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.816461
Click on the link below to read Ha'aretz's coverage of the project.
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