ANP  Vol.3 No.2 , May 2014
Contrast Agents and Cell Labeling Strategies for in Vivo Imaging

Regenerative medicine has become a new therapeutic approach in which stem cells or genetically reprogrammed cells are delivered to diseased areas in the body with the intention that such multipotent cells will differentiate into healthy tissue and exchange damaged tissue. The success of such cell-based therapeutic approaches depends on precise dosing and delivery of the cells to the desired site in the human body. To determine the accuracy and efficacy of the therapy, tracking of the engrafted cells in an intact living organism is crucial. There is a great need for sensitive, noninvasive imaging methods, which would allow clinicians to monitor viability, migration dynamics, differentiation towards specific cell type, regeneration potential and integration of transplanted cells with host tissues for an optimal time period. Various in vivo tracking methods are currently used including: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), PET (Positron Emission Tomography), SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography), optical imaging (OI), photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and ultrasound (US). In order to carry out the detection with each of the aforementioned techniques, the cells must be labeled either exogenously (ex vivo) or endogenously (in vivo). For tracking the administrated cells, scientists usually manipulate cells outside the living organism by incorporating imaging contrast agents (CAs) or reporter genes. Strategies for stem cell labeling using CAs will be reviewed in the light of various imaging techniques.

Cite this paper
Legacz, M. , Roepke, K. , Giersig, M. and Pison, U. (2014) Contrast Agents and Cell Labeling Strategies for in Vivo Imaging. Advances in Nanoparticles, 3, 41-53. doi: 10.4236/anp.2014.32007.
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