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MRI Tracking of Intracranial Stem Cell Grafts

The inability to non-invasively identify and track transplanted cells in vivo often limits the translation of cell therapies for central nervous system disorders. In a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, researchers led by Eva L. Feldman (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) describe a novel magnetotactic bacteria-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent that enables visualization and tracking of cell grafts in the non-human primate and murine brain. McGinley et al. report that these agents may find use in determining graft survival or rejection with further optimization. Overall, this study suggests that magneto‐endosymbionts represent an effective tool for the in vivo monitoring of cell‐based therapies with potential relevance to neurological applications.