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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 759514, 13 pages
Review Article

Molecular Imaging in Stem Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury

Fahuan Song,1,2,3,4 Mei Tian,1,2,3,4 and Hong Zhang1,2,3,4

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, 88 Jiefang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
2Zhejiang University Medical PET Center, Zhejiang University, 88 Jiefang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
3Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Zhejiang University, 88 Jiefang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China
4Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Imaging of Zhejiang Province, 88 Jiefang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310009, China

Received 26 July 2013; Accepted 9 December 2013; Published 19 February 2014

Academic Editor: Ali Cahid Civelek

Copyright © 2014 Fahuan Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious disease of the center nervous system (CNS). It is a devastating injury with sudden loss of motor, sensory, and autonomic function distal to the level of trauma and produces great personal and societal costs. Currently, there are no remarkable effective therapies for the treatment of SCI. Compared to traditional treatment methods, stem cell transplantation therapy holds potential for repair and functional plasticity after SCI. However, the mechanism of stem cell therapy for SCI remains largely unknown and obscure partly due to the lack of efficient stem cell trafficking methods. Molecular imaging technology including positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical imaging (i.e., bioluminescence imaging (BLI)) gives the hope to complete the knowledge concerning basic stem cell biology survival, migration, differentiation, and integration in real time when transplanted into damaged spinal cord. In this paper, we mainly review the molecular imaging technology in stem cell therapy for SCI.