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:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , ... with 2XU, a global leader in technical performance ... hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will ... monitor key biometrics to improve overall training performance. ... two companies will bring together the most advanced technology, ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... India , October 26, 2015 ... --> adds ... 2015 to 2021 as well as ... 2015-2019 research reports to its collection ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... , October 23, 2015 ... announce a mobile plug and play integration of physiological ... tasks SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) present a ... solutions for eye tracking and physiological data registration. It ... SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w and physiological signals ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" ... reported financial results for the quarter ended September ... in Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial ... States ," said Andrew Rae , ... regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching for ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... International Society ... one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The ... where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more than a decade. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a ... North Carolina , today announced that the company has set ... represented a 391% quarter on quarter growth posted for Q3 of ... and Mexico , with the establishment ... in December 2015. --> United Kingdom ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture ... develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. ... to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super ...
Breaking Biology Technology: