In vivo cell tracking has been enabled by molecular imaging technology and, recently, monitoring cell fate
changes has become possible in small animals. Stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can differentiate in
vivo after implantation, and lineage commitment of these cells can be successfully imaged using cell-specific promoterdriven
reporter genes. For this purpose, imaging sensitivity has been significantly enhanced by engineering luciferase or
adopting molecular amplification techniques. After transplantation of stem cells within a polymer scaffold, the fate
changes of cells into neuronal lineages were monitored long enough to recognize possible adoption within endogenous
microenvironment. Multiplexing and optimizing the imaging method to trace fate changes of transplanted stem cells can
now be implemented broadly in vivo in small animals and possibly in humans.
Keywords: Differentiation imaging, In vivo molecular imaging, Neuronal differentiation, Neuronal microRNA, Optical
imaging, Stem cell therapy.
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Published on: 29 October, 2012
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