Better insight into brain anatomical structures

Jun 15, 2007

Magnetic resonance imaging is a very effective method for revealing anatomical details of soft tissues. Contrast agents can help to make these images even clearer and allow physiological processes to be followed in real time. Conventional gadolinium complexes currently used as MRI contrast agent cannot reveal anatomic structures.

As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, Korean researchers led by Jung Hee Lee at Samsung Medical Center and Taeghwan Hyeon at Seoul National University have now developed a new MRI contrast agent using manganese oxide nanoparticles that produces images of the anatomic structures of mouse brain which are as clear as those obtained by histological examination.

Magnetic resonance images after injection of the manganese oxide nanoparticles gave a view into different areas of the mouse brains—in excellent resolution. "We have developed the first truly biocompatible MRI contrast agent for anatomical brain imaging," Lee and Hyeon point out. "With this agent, we are able to get high-contrast views of the anatomical details of live mouse brain." The researchers hope that their new contrast agent will allow better research and diagnosis of brain diseases involving the CNS (central nervous system), such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, strokes, and tumors.

Furthermore, the Korean team was able to attach antibodies to the manganese oxide nanoparticles. These antibodies recognize and specifically bind to receptors on the surface of breast cancer cells. In mouse brains with breast cancer metastases, the tumors were clearly highlighted by the antibody-coupled contrast agent. The same principle should allow other disease-related changes or physiological systems to be visualized by using the appropriate antibodies.

Citation: Taeghwan Hyeon, Development of a T1 Contrast Agent for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Using MnO Nanoparticles, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200604775

Source: John Wiley & Sons

Explore further: Existence of two-dimensional nanomaterial silicene questioned

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The birth of topological spintronics

15 minutes ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

Student develops filter for clean water around the world

43 minutes ago

Roughly 780 million people around the world have no access to clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. ETH student Jeremy Nussbaumer ...

How much magma is hiding beneath our feet?

45 minutes ago

Molten rock (or magma) has a strong influence on our planet and its inhabitants, causing destructive volcanic eruptions and generating some of the giant mineral deposits. Our understanding of these phenomena ...

Recommended for you

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

7 hours ago

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

Simulating the invisible

8 hours ago

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Building 'invisible' materials with light

9 hours ago

A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility ...

User comments : 0