Department of Radiology
Imaging Division
University Hopital Zürich

The development of stem cell therapies and engineered tissue replacement is a hot topic of current basic research. Tissue engineering from adult human stem cells provides a novel therapeutic option for a wide variety of diseases. For monitoring of the successful implementation of replacement tissue, adequate in-vivo imaging techniques for tissue characterization need to be developed. Differentiated cells exhibit highly specific properties as a potential target for molecular imaging: MRI relaxation and diffusion properties, magnetization transfer, lipid distribution (intramyocellular vs. extramyocellular). In a close collaboration to the Tissue Engineering Laboratory of the Department of Urology we are developing and investigating imaging techniques, which aim at characterization of the differentiation process of stem cells. Furthermore, we are supporting several research groups in the study design and imaging techniques of stem cell research projects, e.g. regarding the in-vivo tracking of stem cells labeled with super-paramagnetic iron-oxide particles.

The figure on the left shows a mouse with subcutanously implanted mesenchymal muscular progenitor cells. The cells exhibit already similar T1 relaxation properties compared to skeletal muscle indicating a nearly finished differentiation process.

Own contributions
N. Chuck, F. Azzabi Zouraq, D. Eberli, A. Boss. MRI relaxometry characterizes in vivo differentiation of muscle precursor cells. SGR SSR 2012, Abstract SS217.

Boss A, Oppitz M, Wehrl H, Rossi C, Feuerstein M, Claussen CD, Drews U, Pichler B, Schick F. Measurement of T1, T2, and Magnetization Transfer Properties During Embryonic Development at 7 Tesla Using the Chicken Model J Magn Reson Imaging 28: 1510-1514 (2008)

Research Topics
Contact Information
Andreas Boss
Department of Radiology
Imaging Division
University Hospital of Zürich
Rämistr. 100
8006 Zürich
Tel.: +41-44-2553677
FAX: +41-44-2554344