Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Labeling of Stem Cells for MRI Tracking and Delivery in Cardiovascular Disease

  • Dorota A. Kedziorek
  • Dara L. KraitchmanEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 660)


In the mid-1980s, iron oxide nanoparticles were developed as contrast agents for diagnostic imaging. In the last two decades, established methods to label cells with superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIOs) have been developed to aid in targeted delivery and tracking of stem cell therapies. The surge in cellular therapy clinical trials for cardiovascular applications has seen a similar rise in the number of preclinical animal studies of SPIO-labeled stem cells in an effort to understand the mechanisms of cardiovascular regenerative therapy and stem cell biodistribution. The adoption of a limited number of methods of direct labeling of stem cells with SPIOs is due in large part to the desire to rapidly translate these techniques to clinical trials. In this review, we will outline the most commonly adopted methods for iron oxide labeling of stem cells for cardiovascular applications and describe strategies for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of magnetically labeled cells in the heart.

Key words

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Stem cells Superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) Cellular labeling Cell imaging Transfection Electroporation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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