A labeling method for islet cells with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs) based on DNA hybridization is proposed for monitoring of transplanted islets by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The surfaces of SPIOs were modified by via Michael reaction by reacting oligo-(deoxyadenylic acid)-bearing a terminal thiol group at the 5′-end ((dA)20-SH) with maleic acid functional groups on the SPIOs. The SPIOs were immobilized on islet cells which had been pretreated with oligo-(thymidylic acid)-poly(ethylene glycol)-phospholipid conjugates ((dT)20-PEG-DPPE) through DNA hybridization. Transmission electron microscopy observations revealed that SPIOs were initially anchored on the islet cell surfaces and subsequently transferred to endosomes or exfoliated with time. The SPIO-labeled islet cells could be clearly detected as dark spots by T2â̂ - -weighted MR image, whereas non-labeled islet cells could not be detected.