Labeling human mesenchymal stem cells with gold nanocages for in vitro and in vivo tracking by two-photon microscopy and photoacoustic microscopy

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

94 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


  • Yu Shrike Zhang
  • Yu Wang
  • Yucai Wang
  • Xin Cai
  • Chi Zhang
  • Lihong V. Wang
  • Younan Xia


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-543
Journal / PublicationTheranostics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes



Stem cell tracking is a highly important subject. Current techniques based on nanoparticle-labeling, such as magnetic resonance imaging, fluorescence microscopy, and micro-computed tomography, are plagued by limitations including relatively low sensitivity or penetration depth, involvement of ionizing irradiation, and potential cytotoxicity of the nanoparticles. Here we introduce a new class of contrast agents based on gold nanocages (AuNCs) with hollow interiors and porous walls to label human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) for both in vitro and in vivo tracking using two-photon microscopy and photoacoustic microscopy. As demonstrated by the viability assay, the AuNCs showed negligible cytotoxicity under a reasonable dose, and did not alter the differentiation potential of the hMSCs into desired lineages. We were able to image the cells labeled with AuNCs in vitro for at least 28 days in culture, as well as to track the cells that homed to the tumor region in nude mice in vivo. © Ivyspring International Publisher.

Research Area(s)

  • Blood vessels, Gold nanocages, Human mesenchymal stem cells, Nanoparticles, Stem cell therapy, U87 glioblastoma

Citation Format(s)

Download Statistics

No data available