Through labelling of cells with magnetic contrast agents it is possible to follow the fate of transplanted cells in vivo with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as has been demonstrated in animal studies as well as in a clinical setting. A large variety of labelling strategies are available that allow for prolonged and sensitive detection of the labelled cells with MRI. The various protocols each harbour specific advantages and disadvantages. In choosing a particular labelling strategy it is also important to ascertain that the labelling procedure does not negatively influence cell functionality, for which a large variety of assays are available. In order to overcome the challenges still faced in fully exploiting the benefits of in vivo cell tracking by MRI a good understanding and standardisation of the procedures and assays used will be crucial.

Apoptosis, Cell labelling, Cell tracking, Contrast agents, MRI,
European Radiology: journal of the European Congress of Radiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bernsen, M.R, Moelker, A.D, Wielopolski, P.A, van Tiel, S.T, & Krestin, G.P. (2010). Labelling of mammalian cells for visualisation by MRI. European Radiology: journal of the European Congress of Radiology (Vol. 20, pp. 255–274). doi:10.1007/s00330-009-1540-1