Nanoparticles for cell labeling. Nanoscale 2011
Cell based therapeutics are emerging as powerful regimens. To better understand the migration and proliferation mechanisms of implanted cells, a means to track cells in living subjects is essential, and to achieve that, a number of cell labeling techniques have been developed. Nanoparticles, with their superior physical properties, have become the materials of choice in many investigations along this line. Owing to inherent magnetic, optical or acoustic attributes, these nanoparticles can be detected by corresponding imaging modalities in living subjects at a high spatial and temporal resolution. These features allow implanted cells to be separated from host cells; and have advantages over traditional histological methods, as they permit non-invasive, real-time tracking in vivo. This review attempts to give a summary of progress in using nanotechnology to monitor cell trafficking. We will focus on direct cell labeling techniques, in which cells ingest nanoparticles that bear traceable signals, such as iron oxide or quantum dots. Ferritin and MagA reporter genes that can package endogenous iron or iron supplement into iron oxide nanoparticles will also be discussed.