Washington, June 10 (ANI): An Indian origin scientist has developed a new, highly efficacious, potentially safer and more cost effective nanoparticle-based MRI contrast agent for improved disease diagnosis and detection.
MRI is one of the most powerful and central techniques in diagnostic medicine and biomedical research used primarily to render anatomical details for improved diagnosis of many pathologies and diseases.
Presently, most MRI procedures use gadolinium-based contrast agents to improve the visibility and definition of disease detection.
However, recent studies have discovered harmful side effects, such as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, stemming from the use of this contrast agent in some patients, forcing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to place restrictions on the clinical use of gadolinium.
Further, most MRI contrast agents are not suited for extended-residence-intravascular (blood pool), or tissue (organ)-specific imaging, and do not allow molecular imaging.
To address the need for an MRI contrast agent that demonstrates greater effectiveness and lower toxicity, Dr. Balaji Sitharaman, PhD, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University, and a team of researchers developed a novel high-performance graphene-based contrast agent that may replace the gadolinium-based agent which is widely used by physicians today.
"A graphene-based contrast agent can allow the same clinical MRI performance at substantially lower dosages," Dr. Sitharaman said.
"The technology will lower health care costs by reducing the cost per dose as well as the number of doses required," Dr. Sitharaman said.
"Further, since this new MRI contrast agent will substantially improve disease detection by increasing sensitivity and diagnostic confidence, it will enable earlier treatment for many diseases, which is less expensive, and of course more effective for diseases such as cancer," he added.
This study has been published in the journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)