Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 126, Issue 1–3, pp 83–91 | Cite as

MRI-based Visualization of Iron-labeled CD133+ Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells



The objective of this study is to build up a kind of effective approach to multiply CD133+ endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and visualize cells by labeling with two FDA-approved agents based on MRI technique. CD133+ cells were separated by immunomagnetic microbeads selection and grew with serum-free medium. Seven days later, CD133+ cell production was collected and co-incubated with iron complex for 24 h for labeling. The iron-labeled cells were suspended into agarose gel and scanned by MRI for visualization. Labeled cells were also analyzed for cell viability. Iron can be effectively introduced into CD133+ EPCs plasma in culture and visualized by changing the MRI signal intensity. Iron had no influence on cell viability. Conclusion: Iron substance can be applied to label CD133+ cells without cytotoxicity and iron-labeled cells can be visualized by MRI image. Due to the non-invasive property and repeatability of MRI technology and this kind of method could be used for tracing in vivo stem cells in the future.


Endothelial progenitor cells Iron MRI Stem cell visualization 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Guang An Men HospitalChina Academy of Chinese Medical SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Shandong Medical Imaging Research InstituteShandong UniversityJinanChina

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