NSTI BioNano 2010

MR-related Nanotechnologies (invited presentation)

J. Grimm
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US

Keywords: nanoparticles, MR


MR imaging provides a great advantage over nuclear techniques such as PET or optical imaging as it can combine excellent anatomical information with the specific molecular one obtained through the probe. Nanoparticles are particularly suited for MR imaging, as their composition materials can be used as MR contrast agents. The explored nanomaterials range from coated crystalline particles to liposomes, nanotubes, fullerenes and nanodiamonds to name just a few. Particles combine the signaling power of each individual atom of contrast agent (mostly either gadolinium or iron) with an additional effect, obtained by their assembly as nanomaterials. Often these effects are yet poorly understood but aid in enhancing relaxivity significantly. Gadolinium atoms within nanotubes can demonstrate under certain circumstances considerably higher relaxivity as compared to the single Gadolinium atom chelated to DTPA (the classic MR contrast agent). Also, interaction between nanomaterials can lead to different relaxation properties. For example, clustering of iron oxide nanoparticles leads to an induced decrease of the T2 relaxation rate, dispersion results again in an increase in T2, leading to the term of the “magnetic relaxation switch”. This principle can be applied to detect a variety of targets, from DNA-sequences to enzymatic activity. First efforts have been made to utilize this system in vivo even though several issues still have to be overcome. In this review we will discuss principles of nanotechnologies as they relate to in vivo imaging with MRI and give examples for a variety of these substances and their applications.
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