Navigation Links
'Gadonanotubes' greatly outperform existing MRI contrast agents

Researchers at Rice University, the Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Houston and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have created a new class of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents that are at least 40 times more effective than the best in clinical use.

The new agents -- dubbed gadonanotubes -- use the same highly toxic metal, gadolinium, that is given to more than a quarter of MRI patients today, but the metal atoms are encased inside a hollow tube of pure carbon called a nanotube. Shrouding the toxic metals inside the benign carbon is expected to significantly reduce or eliminate the metal's toxicity.

The research was published this month in the journal Chemical Communications.

"In prior work, we have boosted the effectiveness of gadolinium MRI contrast agents by encasing them in spheres of carbon called buckyballs," said lead author Lon Wilson, professor of chemistry at Rice. "Each nanotube will hold more gadolinium atoms than a buckyball, so we expected them to be more effective agents. But they are actually much, much better than we anticipated, so much so that no existing theory can explain how they work."

Wilson and colleagues use short segments of nanotubes, tiny cylinders of pure carbon about one billionth of a meter, or one nanometer, in diameter. That's about as wide as a strand of DNA. The ultrashort segments are only about 20-100 times longer than they are wide, and once inside the nanotubes, the gadolinium atoms naturally aggregate into tiny clusters of about 10 atoms each. Wilson and colleagues suspect the clustering is causing the unexplained increases in magnetic and MRI effects that they observed in tests at Rice, at the University of Houston's Texas Center for Superconductivity, and in the Swiss laboratories.

More than 25 million patients in the U.S. undergo MRIs each year. Doctors use contrast agents in about 30 percent of MRIs. The contrast agents increase t he sensitivity of the scans, making it easier for doctors to deliver a diagnosis. Gadolinium agents are the most effective agents and the most commonly used.

In the future, the researchers hope to use existing methods of attaching disease-specific antibodies and peptides to gadonanotubes so they can be targeted to cancerous tumors and other diseased cells.

Co-authors include Rice's Balaji Sitharaman, Kyle Kissell, Keith Hartman and Lesa Tran; the University of Houston's Andrei Baikalov, Irene Rusakova and Yanyi Sun; the Baylor College of Medicine's Htet Khant, Steven Ludtke and Wah Chiu; and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale's Sabrina Laus, Eva Tóth, Lothar Helm and André Merbach.


Source:Rice University

Related biology news :

1. Low oxygen likely made Great Dying worse, greatly delayed recovery
2. Survival of heart patients on beta-blockers varies greatly with genetic variation
3. Access to existing medical treatments could save more lives than spending to improve the treatments
4. Got inexpensive contrast agent? Milk plays new role in imaging
5. Tiny avalanche photodiodes target bioterrorism agents
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... June 1, 2016 Favorable Government ... Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System ... released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market ... Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics ... 2021, on account of growing security concerns across various ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid ... to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency ... new test has already been incorporated into numerous ... types. Over 230 clinical trials are ... including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in ... peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on ... biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Wausau, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... probiotic supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, ... supplements for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
Breaking Biology Technology: