Functional MRI of Stem Cell Migration
Erik Shapiro (Yale University)
Abstract MRI is an ideal imaging modality for serially monitoring a myriad of molecular and cellular processes in intact organisms ranging from rodents to humans. Our laboratory is using molecular and cellular MRI to study a number of important biological phenomena ranging from neural stem cell migration to hepatocyte transplantation. Additionally, we are developing cell based diagnostics protocols aimed at early detection of a number of diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer s disease. Furthermore, we are designing and fabricating next generation MRI contrast agents aimed at both clinical utility for using MRI to track cell transplants, but also more experimental endeavors, such as using MRI to non-invasively detect stem cell differentiation in vivo. These paradigms are being developed all with an eye towards potential realistic clinical implementation, held together by a quantification strategy that emphasizes the use of both animal and human high field MRI for in vivo detection of individual cells.