Table 1:

Definitions

TermDefinition
Molecular imagingIn vivo imaging of the spatiotemporal distribution of molecular or cellular processes
Cellular imagingIn vivo imaging of the spatiotemporal distribution of cellular processes
Contrast agent, labelChemical functional group that allows visualization by an appropriate imaging technique: For example, Gd chelates or iron oxides are MR imaging contrast agents, 18F atoms are PET contrast agents, and  fluorophores are optical contrast agents
NanoparticleMolecules in the 10- to 1000-nm range that serve as an imaging platform; examples include SPIO particles, liposomes, dendrimers, and quantum dots
Reporter probe, reporter moleculeA molecule or nanoparticle that is used to image particular biological processes; the molecule or nanoparticle is a composite of a contrast agent and targeting moiety
Reporter cellA cell that contains a contrast agent
Reporter geneA gene that encodes for a protein that (directly or indirectly) is easy to assay; reporter genes are linked to genes of interest to study expression levels