Translational Imaging for Regenerative Medicine

Sneha S. Kelkar, Aaron M. Mohs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Noninvasive evaluation of tissue regeneration, stem cells, and related therapeutics in real time would be a stepping stone for the translation of regenerative tissue engineering into the clinical setting. There is a need to fully understand the mechanism of existing stem cell therapies, from induction to integration. The vast majority of current methods to evaluate regenerating tissue rely heavily on invasive procedures, such as immunohistochemistry, which, for translational purposes, can result in painful and time-consuming biopsies. Using noninvasive imaging techniques such as nuclear imaging (positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)), ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and X-ray computed tomography (CT) hold promise as well as challenges. Most of these imaging modalities require the use of a contrast agent to obtain high resolution and a high signal-to-noise ratio. For existing noninvasive techniques, two or more modalities must be combined to achieve excellent anatomical details as well as molecular recognition. For example, CT and MRI are excellent for obtaining anatomical details and soft-tissue contrast; however, their resolution at the molecular level is poor. On the other hand, nuclear imaging techniques such as PET and SPECT can be used to study "molecular markers" at picomolar concentrations. Multimodal imaging, for example, PET/MRI, PET/CT, and MRI/CT, which combine molecular and anatomical imaging capabilities, offer opportunities to obtain diagnostic and mechanistic information in one scan. This chapter discusses some existing examples of applications of noninvasive imaging techniques in stem cell therapeutics as well as regenerative tissue engineering from the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTranslational Regenerative Medicine
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780124104570
ISBN (Print)9780124103962
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Imaging
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Positron emission
  • Regenerative imaging
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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