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 September 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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