Navigation Links
NSF awards grant to University of Houston professor to develop color-coded MRIs
Date:4/11/2011

A University of Houston engineering researcher is trying to bring color to the black-and-white world of magnetic resonance imaging to make MRIs easier to read.

MRI is a medical imaging technique used in radiology that provides detailed maps of internal structures. But MRIs can be difficult to interpret because they are in black and white and sometimes in poor focus.

Li Sun, an associate professor of mechanical engineering in UH's Cullen College of Engineering, is working on developing a new class of contrasting agents by using iron nanostructures to provide color to MRI images for the first time.

Sun recently received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for his MRI research. Original funding came from a seed grant from the Alliance for Nanohealth. Project collaborators include Dong Liu, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UH, and researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

"Currently, MRIs are in black and white. If you use one of the existing contrasting agents, you only adjust the gray scale, which makes the bright parts of the image brighter and the dark parts darker. These new nanostructures will allow you to use different colors to identify each type of tissue," Sun said.

Most nanostructures are shaped like spheres or rods. Iron nanostructures come in less common shapes, like dumbbells or tubes, and respond only to a specific magnetic frequency.

But unusual shapes are costly to produce at the necessary nanolevel, prompting Sun to work on a more economical fabrication method for these structures. After these nanostructures are produced, they will be coated in proteins that bond only with certain types of cells, such as those that make up a ligament or a specific internal organ.

In a clinical setting, these new agents will be introduced into a patient, most likely in a liquid that will be injected. The patient will then undergo an MRI, with the machine programmed to scan at the magnetic frequencies assigned to the different nanostructures injected into the patient.

The MRI machine will assign each type of nanostructure it senses a particular color such as red for a ligament and blue for bone. The scans will be combined into a single, color-coded image.

Sun said producing easier-to-read MRIs is not the only use for these new nanostructures. Individual cells, such as stem cells, could be tagged with the nanostrucutures and then tracked in the human body. And nanostructures that bond with cancer cells could be heated with a high-frequency magnetic field, killing the cancer cells but leaving nearby healthy cells intact, Sun said.

"This is high-risk, high-reward research," said Sun. "If we're successful, we'll not only change how much we can learn from an MRI, but impact a lot of other areas of healthcare and research."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Tolley
ljtolley@uh.edu
713-743-0778
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. SEBM Young Investigator Awards for 2011
2. UCSD scientists receive prestigious Hartwell Biomedical Research Awards
3. American Cancer Society awards new research and training grants
4. AACR awards 50 minority scholar in cancer research awards
5. AACR and Landon Foundation support the next generation of researchers with INNOVATOR Awards
6. ESCEO Young Investigators Awards presented at ECCEO11-IOF in Valencia
7. Sea grant awards more than $1.1 million for research under EPAs Long Island Sound study
8. LRI awards wide-ranging research grants to drive next generation of scientific discovery in lupus
9. Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation awards nearly $1M to HBV, HCV awareness, prevention and care
10. McKesson Foundation awards $1.3 million in 6 Mobilizing for Health Research grants
11. Canada awards top science prizes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, ... big day. A great outfit, flawless hair, and a sparkling personality are all well ... themselves to a night at home with Rover. (Actually, man’s best friend might not ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... ... individuals looking to lead a healthy lifestyle have decreased carbohydrate consumption and increased their ... delved into this niche allowing those giving up their beloved pasta a chance to ... of protein and only 7 grams of carbohydrates per 50 gram serving--a ratio that ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... The producers of Enterprises TV ... , The increasingly modern world of instantaneous consumption proves very convenient for businesses. ... such as oil and coal, which pollutes our air, water, and soil. It can ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... 13, 2016 , ... Christie Medical Holdings, Inc. presented the ... VeinViewer® Vision vein finder for the nursing school simulation lab. This ... draw blood, combining technology with traditional technique. , “VeinViewer is a wonderful new ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... Montreal, Canada (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... best foot forward. They’ll groom themselves to perfection, go out of their way to ... their date – just take a look at any online dating profile. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... SAO PAULO , Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... has commenced a cash tender offer (the "Tender ... U.S.$312.6 million outstanding aggregate principal amount of its ... P5246AAF0 and ISIN Nos. US44915JAA88/ USP5246AAF05) (the "Notes"). ... also soliciting (the "Consent Solicitation") consents (the "Consents") ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , February 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... nicht anders vermerkt)   http://www.sedar.com ... http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    --> ... des Unternehmens http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    ... (TSX:TST; PNK:BNHLF) veröffentlichte heute seinen Konzernabschluss des ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... HOUSTON , Feb. 12, 2016  Memorial Hermann ... center Dwight Howard to bring a one-of-a-kind ... Hospital . Using cutting-edge technologies such as 360-degree video ... kids both virtually, then literally – giving the patients ... – and it was all caught on video ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: