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Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Jul;4(3):428-33.

Cellular magnetic resonance imaging: nanometer and micrometer size particles for noninvasive cell localization.

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Department of Neurosurgery, The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The use of nanometer and micrometer-sized superparamagnetic iron oxide particles as cellular contrast agents allows for the noninvasive detection of labeled cells on high-resolution magnetic resonance images. The development and application of these techniques to neurologic disorders is likely to accelerate the development of cell transplantation therapies and allow for the detailed study of in vivo cellular biology. This review summarizes the early development of iron oxide-based cellular contrast agents and the more recent application of this technology to noninvasive imaging of cellular transplants. The ability of this technique to allow for the noninvasive detection of in vivo transplants on the single-cell level is highlighted.

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