Cell-tracking method has an important role in detection of metastatic circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cell-based therapies. Label-free imaging techniques are desirable for cell-tracking because they enable long time observations without photobleaching in living cells or tissues where labeling is not always possible. Photoacoustic microscopy is a label-free imaging technique that offers rich contrast based on nonfluorescent cellular optical absorption associated with intrinsic chromophores and pigments. We show here that photoacoustic imaging is feasible for detecting very low numbers (x 104) of melanoma cells without labeling because of the strong instinct optical absorption of melanin in near-infrared wavelength. Flowing melanoma cells are imaged with micrometerresolution (40 μm) and penetration depths of centimeters (13 mm) in real-time. Photoacoustic imaging as a new cell-tracking method provides a novel modality for cancer screening and offers insights into the underlying biological process of cancer growth and metastasis and cell therapy.