SBIR Phase I: Novel Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is a feasibility assessment of using ultrathin magnetic iron oxide nanowires as positive contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Each year, approximately 30 million MRI scans are performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purpose. Two types of contrast agents are routinely administrated to alter the image contrast: T1 positive contrast agents-gadolinium (Gd) complexes and T2 negative contrast agents-iron oxide nanoparticles. The brighter MR image of a T1 contrast agent is clinically preferred over the darker image of the T2 contrast agent. The current problems with the T1 Gd-based contrast agents is the health risk to patients with liver and kidney diseases, and babies, and are difficult to retain at target locations. Because iron oxide -based T2 contrast agents are generally accepted to be safe and can be reabsorbed through normal iron metabolic pathways, if they can be used as T1 contras agents, it could provide safety and imaging efficacy. The unique magnetic property of ultrathin nanowires offers great potential as positive contrast agent. The research objective is to evaluate the potential of these nanowires in clinical relevant conditions, leading to a safe and effective MRI contrast agent. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is significant. As the leading imaging modality, MRI generates contrast agent revenues of over $1.87 bn in the U.S. alone with growth rate of 12%. The MRI contrast agent market is driven by the increased demand on new applications, faster scan times and better quality, aging population, and increased cancer incident. The potential commercialization of such a MRI contrast agent offer a solution to patients with live and kidney diseases. The targeting capability of the nanoparticles will significantly improve the imaging efficiency at a much lower dose. This contrast agent will ultimately improve disease detection, therapeutic monitoring and treatment efficacy, potentially leading to the advancement of human health.
Small Business Information at Submission:
720 2nd Street Tuscaloosa, AL 35401-0204
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