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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1946585, 10 pages
Review Article

Advances in Molecular Imaging Strategies for In Vivo Tracking of Immune Cells

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine and Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea

Received 27 May 2016; Revised 12 August 2016; Accepted 23 August 2016

Academic Editor: Patrizia Rovere-Querini

Copyright © 2016 Ho Won Lee 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.


Tracking of immune cells in vivo is a crucial tool for development and optimization of cell-based therapy. Techniques for tracking immune cells have been applied widely for understanding the intrinsic behavior of immune cells and include non-radiation-based techniques such as optical imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radiation-based techniques such as computerized tomography (CT), and nuclear imaging including single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET). Each modality has its own strengths and limitations. To overcome the limitations of each modality, multimodal imaging techniques involving two or more imaging modalities are actively applied. Multimodal techniques allow integration of the strengths of individual modalities. In this review, we discuss the strengths and limitations of currently available preclinical in vivo immune cell tracking techniques and summarize the value of immune cell tracking in the development and optimization of immune cell therapy for various diseases.