Iron oxide contrast agents have been combined with magnetic resonance imaging for cell tracking. In this review, we discuss coating properties and provide an overview of ex vivo and in vivo labeling of different cell types, including stem cells, red blood cells, and monocytes/macrophages. Furthermore, we provide examples of applications of cell tracking with iron contrast agents in stroke, multiple sclerosis, cancer, arteriovenous malformations, and aortic and cerebral aneurysms. Attempts at quantifying iron oxide concentrations and other vascular properties are examined. We advise on designing studies using iron contrast agents including methods for validation.
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions; National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada