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: Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How octopuses don't tie themselves in knots

May 15, 2014

An octopus's arms are covered in hundreds of suckers that will stick to just about anything, with one important exception. Those suckers generally won't grab onto the octopus itself; otherwise, the impressively ...

A natural boost for MRI scans

Oct 21, 2013

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique widely used in medicine to create images of internal organs such as the heart, the lungs, the liver and even the brain. Since its invention in 1977, MRI has become a staple ...

Clot-dissolving bubbles to treat strokes?

Sep 25, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers are using computer simulations to investigate how ultrasound and tiny bubbles injected into the bloodstream might break up blood clots, limiting the damage caused by a stroke ...

X-ray tomography on a living frog embryo

May 16, 2013

Classical X-ray radiographs provide information about internal, absorptive structures of organisms such as bones. Alternatively, X-rays can also image soft tissues throughout early embryonic development of ...

Recommended for you

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas

15 hours ago

Researchers of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have developed the new BiogàsPlus, a technology which allows ...

Research unlocks potential of super-compound

17 hours ago

Researchers at The University of Western Australia's have discovered that nano-sized fragments of graphene - sheets of pure carbon - can speed up the rate of chemical reactions.

User comments : 0