Tracking stem cells for cardiovascular applications in vivo: Focus on imaging techniques

Yingli Fu, Nicole Azene, Yi Xu, Dara L. Kraitchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Despite rapid translation of stem cell therapy into clinical practice, the treatment of cardiovascular disease using embryonic stem cells, adult stem and progenitor cells or induced pluripotent stem cells has not yielded satisfactory results to date. Noninvasive stem cell imaging techniques could provide greater insight into not only the therapeutic benefit, but also the fundamental mechanisms underlying stem cell fate, migration, survival and engraftment in vivo. This information could also assist in the appropriate choice of stem cell type(s), delivery routes and dosing regimes in clinical cardiovascular stem cell trials. Multiple imaging modalities, such as MRI, PET, SPECT and CT, have emerged, offering the ability to localize, monitor and track stem cells in vivo. This article discusses stem cell labeling approaches and highlights the latest cardiac stem cell imaging techniques that may help clinicians, research scientists or other healthcare professionals select the best cellular therapeutics for cardiovascular disease management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-486
Number of pages14
JournalImaging in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • MRI
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cell labeling
  • cell tracking
  • computed tomography
  • optical imaging
  • radionuclide imaging
  • stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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