Cellular magnetic resonance imaging: Current status and future prospects

Ali Syed Arbab, Wei Liu, Joseph A. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Cellular magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) allows for the tracking of the temporal and spatial migration of cells labeled with MR contrast agents within organs and tissues. This rapidly growing area of experimental research has the potential of translating from bench to bedside and may be used in conjunction with cellular therapy clinical trials or in the evaluation of novel drug therapies. Ex vivo labeling of nonphagocytic cells with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles or paramagnetic contrast agents (i.e., gadolinium or manganese) allows for the detection of single cells or clusters of labeled cells within target tissues using CMRI following either direct implantation or intravenous injection. However, prior to the translation of experimental cell labeling studies to clinical trials, it is essential to perform preclinical evaluation to demonstrate a lack of toxicity, the ability to scale-up labeling using good manufacturing practice and the ability to detect cells by in vivo MRI in relevant model systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-439
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Cell tracking
  • Cellular MRI
  • Gene delivery
  • SPIO
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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