Assessment of an engineered endothelium via single-photon emission computed tomography

Bin Jiang, Yidi Wu, Chad R. Haney, Chongwen Duan, Guillermo A. Ameer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The clinical translation of cell-based therapeutics often requires highly sensitive, non-invasive imaging tools to assess cell function and distribution in vivo. The objective of this research was to determine whether human Sodium-Iodide Symporter (hNIS) ectopic expression in endothelial cells (ECs) in combination with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a feasible approach to non-invasively monitor the presence and viability of an engineered endothelium on expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were transduced with pLL3.7-hNIS via lentivirus with multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0, 2, 5, and 10 (n = 4). Ectopic expression of hNIS in HUVECs via optimized lentiviral transduction (MOI 5) enabled cell uptake of a radioisotope that can be detected by SPECT without affecting endothelial cell viability, oxidative stress, or antithrombogenic functions. The viability and distribution of an engineered endothelium grown on ePTFE coated with the biodegradable elastomer poly(1, 8 octamethylene citrate) (POC) and exposed to fluid flow was successfully monitored non-invasively by SPECT. We report the feasibility of a non-invasive, highly sensitive and functional assessment of an engineered endothelium on ePTFE using a combination of SPECT and X-ray computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging and hNIS ectopic expression in ECs. This technology potentially allows for the non-invasive assessment of transplanted living cells in vascular conduits. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 2371–2377.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2371-2378
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • endothelial cells
  • imaging
  • sodium iodine symporter
  • tissue engineering
  • vascular grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


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