[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MRI has proven to be an excellent tool for cell tracking via magnetic nano- or micro-particles. In particular single cell tracking is possible via magnetic particles of 1 micrometer or greater size via high resolution MR microscopy. These techniques rely on the magnetic field distortion of the particle to produce a local artifact in the image many times larger that the particle itself. This technique can be used to track cells in tissue in 3D and in vivo. Recently, cell labeling techniques enable the use of in vivo labeling in the rat brain. Global magnetic field distortions prevent the use of high-SNR efficiency techniques such as steady-state free precession (SSFP) in such labeled tissue. These field banding artifacts can be suppressed to good effect by use of a linear combination of SSFP images (LCSSP). We describe the application of the LCSSFP technique as a method for rapidly obtaining MR images of the rat brain labeled with micron-sized magnetic particles.