Innovative contrast agents for more… – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

EU-funded researchers have created an innovative and ‘smart’ prototype contrast mechanism for use in medical imaging that could offer health professionals with important new insights to assist diagnose injury and ailment.

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Current on 17 July 2020

The EU-funded CONQUER project targeted on boosting and growing the flexibility of contrast agents. These are substances that can be administered prior to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to much more clearly and exactly distinguish different tissues and fluids in the entire body: from muscle mass, cartilage and nerves to cancer tumours and the motion of blood by arteries, veins and the mind.

The technology is indispensable for knowledge and diagnosing ailment as effectively as developing new treatments. On the other hand, the use of contrast mechanisms in MRI scans has been minimal because of time and price factors, as effectively as concerns about publicity to some agents these as all those based mostly on the exceptional-earth component gadolinium.

The CONQUER crew as a result sought greater and smarter possibilities, which include contrast agents that can be turned on or off remotely by modifying magnetic fields in order to make scans of different tissues much more exact and functional.

‘We have offered a evidence of theory for a new contrast mechanism that offers two rewards. We now have the possible to swap the contrast on and off, and we use an choice agent to gadolinium about which there is open up discussion close to possible toxicity issues,’ says project coordinator Hermann Scharfetter at Graz College of Technology in Austria.

The CONQUER team’s exploration targeted on a functional contrast method termed ‘quadrupole peace enhancement’ which functions on the foundation of how alerts generated by the spins of protons inside of tissues decay, or ‘relax’, around time as they interact with the contrast agent. In its place of gadolinium-based mostly substances, the CONQUER crew applied novel bismuth-based mostly agents.

‘We have established for the very first time that quadrupole peace enhancement of solvent protons by the spin of bismuth nuclei is probable in liquids. This opens up novel avenues for further exploration in this spot,’ Scharfetter says.

To assist the use of new contrast agents, the project companions also created new resources for MRI scanners, which include novel parts that have been equipped experimentally to a medical 3T MRI scanner, and which have resulted in a patent application.

Scharfetter and his crew are continuing exploration in the spot with new assignments in the pipeline, driving forward promising locations of study targeted in certain on optimising nanoparticles in novel contrast agents. This ongoing work could substantially improve the ability of MRI technology to generate a further knowledge of ailment and even much more productive and exact diagnoses for people.