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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 2934149, 9 pages
Review Article

Stem Cell Tracking Technologies for Neurological Regenerative Medicine Purposes

1Department of Neurosurgery, Fudan University Huashan Hospital, National Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, The Institutes of Brain Science and the Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
2Department of Urinary Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jianhong Zhu; nc.ude.naduf@uhzj

Received 25 February 2017; Revised 12 June 2017; Accepted 9 July 2017; Published 12 September 2017

Academic Editor: Yao Li

Copyright © 2017 Yongtao Zheng 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.


The growing field of stem cell therapy is moving toward clinical trials in a variety of applications, particularly for neurological diseases. However, this translation of cell therapies into humans has prompted a need to create innovative and breakthrough methods for stem cell tracing, to explore the migration routes and its reciprocity with microenvironment targets in the body, to monitor and track the outcome after stem cell transplantation therapy, and to track the distribution and cell viability of transplanted cells noninvasively and longitudinally. Recently, a larger number of cell tracking methods in vivo were developed and applied in animals and humans, including magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine imaging, and optical imaging. This review has been intended to summarize the current use of those imaging tools in tracking stem cells, detailing their main features and drawbacks, including image resolution, tissue penetrating depth, and biosafety aspects. Finally, we address that multimodality imaging method will be a more potential tracking tool in the future clinical application.