Recent progress in tracking the viability of transplanted stem cells in vivo

May 25, 2016, Science China Press
The recent progress in the development of tracking the viability of in vivo stem cell tracking methodologies. Credit: ©Science China Press

Noninvasive cell-tracking methods are indispensable for assessing the safety and efficacy of stem-cell based therapy. Thus, the research of noninvasive cell-tracking methods for determining in vivo the translocation and long-term viability of the transplanted stem cells have received considerable attention. A recent review article summarized the recent progress in tracking the viability of the transplanted stem cells in vivo.

In the article coauthored with S. Lin, G. Chen, D. Huang, C. Meng, and Q. Wang, scholars at Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and College of Biological Science and Technology, Fuzhou University summarized the current methods for tracking the of the in vivo, including reporter-gene based methods, exogenous contrast label-based methods and multimodel imaging methods.

In recent decades, stem cell-based regenerative medicine has attracted intense attention and extraordinary expectation due to its potentials in the treatment of numerous major diseases, such as hepatic, cardiac, pulmonary, renal and neurological diseases.

Knowing the viability, distribution and differentiation of the transplanted stem cells in vivo is a prerequisite for better understanding the role of stem cells playing in the therapeutic process, in which the survival report of the transplanted stem cells in vivo is particularly crucial in determining the success of stem cell-based regenerative medicine. Therefore, the development of non-invasive imaging methods that can monitor the viability of the transplanted stem cells in situ is urgently needed.

In this article, the authors summarized the development history of stem cell-tracking imaging techniques, explained the imaging principles, pros and cons underlying these techniques, and provided an overview of the applications of these techniques in animal models or humans. Furthermore, this review provided a guideline for researchers to select the right tracking method for the right study. Finally, this review discussed the current challenges in tracking the viability of transplanted , and emphasized the promise of the combined NIR-II fluorescence imaging/BLI method and MRI/PET method for further applications in high-throughput cell therapy screening in animal models and safe imaging in clinical trials, respectively.

Explore further: Team develops bio-mimicry method for preparing and labeling stem cells

More information: SuYing LIN et al. Progress of tracking the viability of transplanted stem cells, Chinese Science Bulletin (Chinese Version) (2016). DOI: 10.1360/N972015-01404

Related Stories

Tracking nanodiamond-tagged stem cells

August 5, 2013

A method that is used to track the fate of a single stem cell within mouse lung tissue is reported in a study published online this week in Nature Nanotechnology. The method may offer insights into the factors that determine ...

New take on efficient delivery in regenerative medicine

October 22, 2013

An international research group has successfully tested the use of a new type of porous material for the efficient delivery of key molecules to transplanted cells derived from stem cells. These results can lead to improvements ...

Recommended for you

Houseplants could one day monitor home health

July 20, 2018

In a perspective published in the July 20 issue of Science, Neal Stewart and his University of Tennessee coauthors explore the future of houseplants as aesthetically pleasing and functional sirens of home health.

Putting bacteria to work

July 20, 2018

The idea of bacteria as diverse, complex perceptive entities that can hunt prey in packs, remember past experiences and interact with the moods and perceptions of their human hosts sounds like the plot of some low-budget ...

LC10 – the neuron that tracks fruit flies

July 20, 2018

Many animals rely on vision to detect, locate, and track moving objects. Male Drosophila fruit flies primarily use visual cues to stay close to a female and to direct their courtship song towards her. Scientists from the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.