Cellular magnetic resonance imaging: Potential for use in assessing aspects of cardiovascular disease

Z. Zhang, N. Mascheri, R. Dharmakumar, Debiao Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


There is rapidly increasing interest in the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track cell migration in vivo. Iron oxide MR contrast agents can be detected at micromolar concentrations of iron, and offer sufficient sensitivity for T2*-weighted imaging. Cellular MRI shows potential for assessing aspects of cardiovascular disease. Labeling in vivo and tracking macrophages using iron oxide nanoparticles has been a goal for cellular MRI because macrophages play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of many human diseases, including atherosclerosis. Cellular MRI has also been using to track transplanted therapeutic cells in myocardial regeneration. This review looked at iron oxide nanoparticles, methods of cell labeling, image acquisition techniques and limitations encountered for visualization. Particular attention was paid to stem cells and macrophages for the cardiovascular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-586
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


  • Atherosclerotic plaque
  • Cellular MRI
  • Myocardial regeneration
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Transplantation
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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