The most recent findings are discussed in detail in his team’s research paper “Physicochemical characterization, and relaxometry studies of micro-graphite oxide, graphene nanoplatelets, and nanoribbons,” published in the June 7 edition of the journal PLoS ONE.
The MRI, the technology for which was invented at Stony Brook University by Professor Paul Lauterbur, 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. Currently, most MRI procedures use gadolinium-based contrast agents to improve the visibility and definition of disease detection. However, recent studies have shown 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 suitable 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. Sitharaman 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,” said Dr. Sitharaman. The project is a Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award winner and the recipient of a two-year translational grant to study preclinical safety and efficacy.
“The technology will lower health care costs by reducing the cost per dose as well as the number of doses required,” noted Dr. Sitharaman. “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.”
The new graphene-based imaging contrast agent is also the focus of Dr. Sitharaman’s start-up company, Theragnostic Technologies, Inc., which was incorporated in early 2012. The ongoing development of this technology is supported by industry expert and business advisor, Shahram Hejazi, and clinical experts Kenneth Shroyer, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology, Stony Brook University, and William Moore, MD, Chief of Thoracic Imaging, and Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, Stony Brook University. Co-authors of the article include Department of Biomedical Engineering research assistants Bhavna Paratala, Barry Jacobson and Shruti Kanakia; and Leonard Deepak Francis from the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Portugal.
Dr. Sitharaman’s research team focuses their interests at the interface of bionanotechnology, regenerative and molecular medicine. They seek to “synergize” the advancements in each of these fields to develop a dynamic research program that tackles problems related to the diagnosis and treatment of disease and tissue regeneration. Dr. Sitharaman received his BS with Honors from the Indian Institute of Technology and his PhD from Rice University, where he also completed his postdoctoral work as a J. Evans Attwell-Welch Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient.
Lauren Sheprow | Newswise Science News
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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