Theranostics 2013; 3(8):544-560. doi:10.7150/thno.5634 This issue
1. Hybrid Silica Technologies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA 02139.
2. Division of Bioengineering, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637457.
Stem cell therapy provides promising solutions for diseases and injuries that conventional medicines and therapies cannot effectively treat. To achieve its full therapeutic potentials, the homing process, survival, differentiation, and engraftment of stem cells post transplantation must be clearly understood. To address this need, non-invasive imaging technologies based on nanoparticles (NPs) have been developed to track transplanted stem cells. Here we summarize existing commercial NPs which can act as contrast agents of three commonly used imaging modalities, including fluorescence imaging, magnetic resonance imaging and photoacoustic imaging, for stem cell labeling and tracking. Specifically, we go through their technologies, industry distributors, applications and existing concerns in stem cell research. Finally, we provide an industry perspective on the potential challenges and future for the development of new NP products.
Keywords: stem cell, cell therapy, commercial nanoparticle, tracking, imaging, industry.