In vivo imaging of stem cells and beta cells using direct cell labeling and reporter gene methods

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cellular transplantation therapy offers a means to stimulate cardiovascular repair either by direct (graft-induced) or indirect (host-induced) tissue regeneration or angiogenesis. Typically, autologous or donor cells of specific subpopulations are expanded exogenously before administration to enrich the cells most likely to participate in tissue repair. In animal models of cardiovascular disease, the fate of these exogenous cells can be determined using histopathology. Recently, methods to label cells with contrast agents or transduce cells with reporter genes to produce imaging beacons has enabled the serial and dynamic assessment of the survival, fate, and engraftment of these cells with noninvasive imaging. Although cell tracking methods for cardiovascular applications have been most studied in stem or progenitor cells, research in tracking of whole islet transplants and particularly insulin producing beta cells has implications to the cardiovascular community attributable to the vascular changes associated with diabetes mellitus. In this review article, we will explore some of the state-of-the art methods for stem, progenitor, and beta cell tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1030
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Beta cells
  • Cell labeling
  • MRI
  • PET
  • Reporter gene
  • Stem cells
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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