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Signore A.,Sapienz University of Rome | Signore A.,University of Groningen | Mather S.J.,Institute of Cancer | Piaggio G.,Instituto Nazionale Tumori Regina Elena IRCCS | And 3 more authors.
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2010

Nuclear medicine imaging offers the possibility to study in vivo different aspects of inflammatory process by the use of radio-labeled molecules that bind to specific receptor targets on cells and tissues. This noninvasive technique, combined with pathogens engineered to express luciferase, allows quantification in the same animal of the spatial and temporal progression of the infection and identification of animal-to-animal variations in pathogen replication and dissemination. One strategy to use optical imaging in living animals is the use of luciferase reporter genes as internal sources of light called bioluminescence imaging (BLI). This enables real-time noninvasive imaging of infections and gene expression in living organisms. Nuclear medicine imaging is characterized by the use of radio pharmaceuticals (radiolabeled probes) that, administered in pico- and nanomolar amounts. These probes can also be used for early diagnosis of diseases, in susceptible subjects, for detection of disease relapse and radio-guided surgery.

Chimenti I.,Sapienz University of Rome | Gaetani R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Barile L.,University of Milan Bicocca | Forte E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 6 more authors.
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

The successful isolation and ex vivo expansion of resident cardiac stem/progenitor cells from human heart biopsies has allowed us to study their biological characteristics and their applications in therapeutic approaches for the repair of ischemic/infarcted heart, the preparation of tissue-engineered cardiac grafts and, possibly, the design of cellular kits for drug screening applications. From the first publication of the original method in 2004, several adjustments and slight changes have been introduced to optimize and adjust the procedure to the evolving experimental and translational needs. Moreover, due to the wide applicability of such a method (which is based on the exploitation of intrinsic functional properties of cells with regenerative properties that are present in most tissues), the key steps of this procedure have been used to derive several kinds of tissue-specific adult stem cells for preclinical or clinical purposes. In order to define the original procedure, complete with the up-to-date modifications introduced through the years, an exhaustive description of the current protocol is performed in this chapter, with particular attention in highlighting critical steps and troubleshoots. The procedure described here consists of modular steps, that could be employed to derive cells from any kind of tissue biopsy, and needs to be considered the gold standard of all the so-called "explant methods" or "cardiosphere methods," and it represents a milestone in the clinical translation of autologous cell therapy. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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