Using Bioengineered Bioluminescence to Track Stem Cell Transplantation In Vivo

  • Dong Han
  • Joseph C. WuEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2126)


Bioluminescence imaging enables the real-time detection and tracking of engrafted cells in vivo noninvasively and dynamically. By detecting and quantifying the photons released from the oxidation of luciferin catalyzed by luciferase enzymes, this approach has proven effective in tracking engrafted stem cell survival and retention, making it a powerful tool to monitor cell fate after transplantation without animal sacrifice. Here we describe a protocol that allows luciferase-labeled stem cells to be imaged and tracked in vivo by bioluminescent imaging via an IVIS spectrum imaging system.

Key words

Bioluminescence Molecular imaging Cell tracking Luciferase 



This publication was supported in part by research grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 HL133272, R01 HL132875, and R01 HL145676, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) DR2A-05394 and RT3-07798 (J.C.W.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford Cardiovascular InstituteStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of MedicineStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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