Cell Targeting and Tracking in Vivo (MRTY5115)


Molecular imaging in vivo has revolutionised the field of nanomedicine. Central to this field is the ability to label, track and target specific cells and tissue in vivo. This is achieved by utilising the various molecular imaging modalities available to the clinician. In the pre-clinical sense, this includes computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), optical imaging (i.e. luminescence and fluorescence) and ultrasound. All of these modalities have specific advantages that can be translated into a suitable pre-clinical analysis (e.g. MRI provides exquisite spatial resolution while PET has extremely sensitive detection limits). These techniques can then be utilised to give different information regarding cell-labelling, tracking and targeting. The development of various cell labelling/targeting technologies can involve receptor binding motifs (e.g. antibodies, antibody fragments, peptides, aptamers, small molecules) that are directly attached to the imaging modality, or can be a part of a larger construct (e.g. nanomaterials). In this way, the various requirements for cell-labelling are incorporated into the one construct (e.g. receptor binding for uptake or attachment to cells, molecular imaging agent for tracking). This course will describe the various approaches used for cell-labelling and tissue targeting in vivo, including methods for preparation of chelates and conjugates required for each imaging modality. Particular emphasis will be placed on the complementary nature of each modality.

Further unit of study information


1x1hr tutorial /wk for on campus students, unit may be completed fully online


On-line quiz (15%), assignment (25%), on-line discussion (10%) and 1x1.5hr exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.