Basic Research in Cardiology

, Volume 103, Issue 2, pp 105–113 | Cite as

Imaging of stem cells using MRI

  • Dara L. KraitchmanEmail author
  • Jeff W. M. Bulte


The administration of exogenous stem cells offers promise to regenerate many damaged organs. However, failures of these cellular therapies could be related to many issues, such as the type of stem cell, the dose of cellular therapeutic, dosing regime, and mode of delivery. The recent ability to directly label stem cells with magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents provides a simple, straight-forward manner to monitor accurate cell delivery and track stem cells non-invasively in a serial manner. Provided here is an overview of the currently available MR-labeling methods, including direct non-specific labeling with contrast agents, indirect specific labeling with contrast agents, labeling with MRI reporter genes, and fluorine hot spot labeling. Several of these approaches have now been applied successfully in preclinical animal models of cardiovascular disease. Once properly implemented, future clinical trials may benefit greatly from imaging stem cells with MRI.

Key words

stem cells magnetic resonance imaging superparamagnetic iron oxides myocardial infarction reporter gene 


Conflict of Interest

The authors had a grant support from Siemens AG. They did receive research material by Bayer Schering Pharma AG and by Boston Scientific Corporation.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Russell H. Morgan Dept. of Radiology and Radiological ScienceJohns Hopkins University, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Institute of NanoBiotechnology, Institute for Computational MedicineJohns Hopkins University, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringJohns Hopkins University, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Institute for Cell Engineering, Cellular Imaging Section and VascularBiology Program, Johns Hopkins University, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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