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 viability of the transplanted stem cells in vivo, including reporter-gene based methods, exogenous contrast label-based methods and multimodel imaging methods.
In the last 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. Clearly 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 in situ monitor the viability of the transplanted stem cells 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 guide line 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 stem cells, 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.
The authors wrote "To the best of our knowledge, this review represents the first hand knowledge of the current methodologies for in vivo tracking the viability of transplanted stem cells, and provides a guide line for further researches in in vivo cell viability tracking."
This research was funded by Chinese Academy of Sciences "Strategic Priority Research Program" (Grant XDA01030200) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 21303249, 21425103, 81401464, 21501192).
See the article: LIN SuYing, CHEN GuangCun, HUANG DeHua, MENG Chun, WANG QiangBin. Progress of tracking the viability of transplanted stem cells in vivo. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2016, 61(10): 1075-1085.