MRI contrast agents now twelve times more effective
Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, MINATEC, News, Research
Published : 2 December 2013
A team of INAC-Liten researchers has developed MRI contrast agents that are twelve times more effective than those currently on the market. They used a novel method for encapsulating the active ingredient, gadolinium, which enhances MRI contrast—but is toxic. Gadolinium is usually encapsulated in organic ligands when used in MRI tests to keep it from being absorbed by the body.
The researchers used a new, hydrophobic organic ligand, which made it possible to encapsulate the active ingredient in porous silicon nanoparticles just 25 nm in diameter. This structure lets the water molecules circulate freely, increasing the contrast of the images obtained during MRI tests.
INAC has filed several patent applications on the technology, which should open the door to future advancements in molecular imaging.