Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Groundbreaking new graphene-based MRI contrast agent

Date:
June 7, 2012
Source:
Stony Brook University
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new, highly efficacious, potentially safer and more cost effective nanoparticle-based MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) contrast agent for improved disease diagnosis and detection.

Dr. Balaji Sitharaman, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University, and a team of researchers developed a new, highly efficacious, potentially safer and more cost effective nanoparticle-based MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) contrast agent for improved disease diagnosis and detection. 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bhavna S. Paratala, Barry D. Jacobson, Shruti Kanakia, Leonard Deepak Francis, Balaji Sitharaman. Physicochemical Characterization, and Relaxometry Studies of Micro-Graphite Oxide, Graphene Nanoplatelets, and Nanoribbons. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (6): e38185 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038185

Cite This Page:

Stony Brook University. "Groundbreaking new graphene-based MRI contrast agent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120607175817.htm>.
Stony Brook University. (2012, June 7). Groundbreaking new graphene-based MRI contrast agent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120607175817.htm
Stony Brook University. "Groundbreaking new graphene-based MRI contrast agent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120607175817.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins