MPI cell tracking: What can we learn from MRI?

Jeff W.M. Bulte, Piotr Walczak, Bernhard Gleich, Jürgen Weizenecker, Denis E. Markov, Hans C.J. Aerts, Hans Boeve, Jörn Borgert, Michael Kuh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cell tracking has become an important non-invasive technique to interrogate the fate of cells upon transplantation. At least 6 clinical trials have been published at the end of 2010, all of which have shown that real-time monitoring of the injection procedure, initial engraftment, and short-term biodistribution of cells is critical to further advance the field of cellular therapeutics. In MRI cell tracking, cells are loaded with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles that provide an MRI contrast effect through microscopic magnetic field disturbances and dephasing of protons. Magnetic particle imaging (MPI) has recently emerged as a potential cellular imaging technique that promises to have several advantages over MRI, primarily linear quantification of cells, a higher sensitivity, and "hot spot" tracer identification without confounding background signal. Although probably not fully optimized, SPIO particles that are currently used as MRI contrast agent can be employed as MPI tracer. Initial studies have shown that cells loaded with SPIO particles can give a detectable MPI signal, encouraging further development of MPI cell tracking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2011
Subtitle of host publicationBiomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
StatePublished - 2011
EventMedical Imaging 2011: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging - Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2011Feb 16 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2011: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Buena Vista, FL


  • Cell tracking
  • Magnetic particle imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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