Bone marrow (BM)-derived stem and immune cells play critical roles in maintaining the health, regeneration, and repair of many tissues. Given their important functions in tissue regeneration and therapy, tracking the dynamic behaviors of BM-derived cells has been a long-standing research goal of both biologists and engineers. Because of the complex cellular-level processes involved, real-time imaging technologies that have sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to visualize them are needed. In addition, in order to track cellular dynamics, special attention is needed to account for changes in the microenvironment where the cells reside, for example, tissue contraction, stretching, development, etc. In this chapter, we introduce methods for real-time imaging and longitudinal tracking of BM-derived immune and stem cells in in vivo three-dimensional (3-D) tissue environments with an integrated optical microscope. The integrated microscope combines multiple imaging functions derived from optical coherence tomography (OCT) and multiphoton microscopy (MPM), including optical coherence microscopy (OCM), microvasculature imaging, two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF), and second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. Short- and long-term tracking of the dynamic behavior of BM-derived cells involved in cutaneous wound healing and skin grafting in green fluorescent protein (GFP) BM-transplanted mice is demonstrated. Methods and algorithms for nonrigid registration of time-lapse images are introduced, which allows for long-term tracking of cell dynamics over several months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationImaging and Tracking Stem Cells
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsKursad Turksen
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781627035583
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Bone marrow cells
  • In vivo microscopy
  • Multimodal
  • Skin regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging and tracking of bone marrow-derived immune and stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this