Theranostics 2013; 3(8):573-582. doi:10.7150/thno.5477 This issue
1. School of Dentistry, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XY, UK.
2. The Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory, The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS, UK
3. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
Stem cell therapies offer great potentials in the treatment for a wide range of diseases and conditions. With so many stem cell replacement therapies going through clinical trials currently, there is a great need to understand the mechanisms behind a successful therapy, and one of the critical points of discovering them is to track stem cell migration, proliferation and differentiation in vivo. To be of most use tracking methods should ideally be non-invasive, high resolution and allow tracking in three dimensions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the ideal methods, but requires a suitable contrast agent to be loaded to the cells to be tracked, and one of the most wide-spread in stem cell tracking is a group of agents known as magnetic nanoparticles. This review will explore the current use of magnetic nanoparticles in developing and performing stem cell therapies, and will investigate their potential limitations and the future directions magnetic nanoparticle tracking is heading in.
Keywords: nanoparticles, stem cell therapies