Better Insight into Brain Anatomical Structures

May 29, 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.

Source: Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Explore further: Gamers helping in Ebola research

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

Gamers helping in Ebola research

16 hours ago

Months before the recent Ebola outbreak erupted in Western Africa, killing more than a thousand people, scientists at the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design were looking for a way to stop the deadly virus.

Carcinogenic role of a protein in liver decoded

19 hours ago

The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers. For this reason it serves as a point of attack for target-oriented therapies. A study ...

A new way to diagnose malaria, using magnetic fields

Aug 31, 2014

Over the past several decades, malaria diagnosis has changed very little. After taking a blood sample from a patient, a technician smears the blood across a glass slide, stains it with a special dye, and ...

User comments : 0