Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NYU researchers decorate virus particles, showing potential to enhance MRI capabilities

14.06.2006
Researchers at New York University have made chemical modifications to nanometer sized virus particles--a process that has the potential to improve magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Their results are reported in the latest issue of Nano Letters.

The study was conducted jointly by NYU's Department of Chemistry and the Department of Radiology at the NYU School of Medicine. The study is part of a collaborative discussion group between these departments called Molecular Imaging and Contrast Agents (MICA). Contrast agents are chemical compounds that enhance the ability of medical imaging techniques, such as MRI, to discriminate between different tissue types. MICA includes Chemistry Professor James Canary, radiologist Dr. Edwin Wang, and assistant chemistry professor Kent Kirshenbaum. Assistance for the study was provided by the University of New Mexico's Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at its Health Sciences Center.

The protein coats of viruses provide an attractive platform for tailoring the physical properties and functions of molecular assemblies because they contain a large number of chemically reactive groups organized in a very precise array. Other researchers have recently sought to enhance MRI capabilities through the use of similar large molecular assemblies by increasing the size, and therefore signal, of MRI contrast agents. They have also tried to use this terrain to facilitate "multi-modality," in which a set of imaging probes, such as those for both MR and optical imaging, are integrated.

The NYU researchers were able to show the attachment of a large number of gadolinium chelates--the chemical compound used in MRI contrast agents --on the surface of the viral particles. This resulted in the generation of a very intense signal when Wang imaged their samples in a clinical MRI scanner.

"Our work validates some hypotheses in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging contrast agents," explained Kirshenbaum, the study's corresponding author. "Previous studies have predicted that as you increase the particle size of an MR contrast agent, you should see it become more effective--as the particle takes longer to tumble in solution, it should become more capable of influencing the response of neighboring water molecules. Our study provides evidence that this effect works. Since the signal that radiologists observe in MRI scans is generated primarily from water molecules within the body, we potentially have the ability to get better contrast and clearer images that can distinguish between different tissue types."

While Kirshenbaum cautioned that many obstacles remain in using this process to enhance MRI for clinical applications, he said the results point to the potential of enhancing specific MRI capabilities.

"If a radiologist wants to design a versatile probe that can be used in a variety of different imaging protocols, a chemically modified virus particle now appears to be an attractive option for this type of sophisticated application," he noted. "For example, if we can decorate the particles so that they are recognized by specific receptors on cell surfaces, we may be able to use MRI to image tumors much smaller than can currently be seen."

James Devitt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nyu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>