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Tuning the relaxation rates of dual-mode T₁/T₂ nanoparticle contrast agents: a study into the ideal system

Keasberry, Natasha A.; Bañobre-López, Manuel; Wood, Christopher; Stasiuk, Graeme J.; Gallo, Juan; Long, Nicholas J.


Natasha A. Keasberry

Manuel Bañobre-López

Christopher Wood

Graeme J. Stasiuk

Juan Gallo

Nicholas J. Long


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an excellent imaging modality. However the low sensitivity of the technique poses a challenge to achieving an accurate image of function at the molecular level. To overcome this, contrast agents are used; typically gadolinium based agents for T₁ weighted imaging, or iron oxide based agents for T₂ imaging. Traditionally, only one imaging mode is used per diagnosis although several physiological situations are known to interfere with the signal induced by the contrast agents in each individual imaging mode acquisition. Recently, the combination of both T₁ and T₂ imaging capabilities into a single platform has emerged as a tool to reduce uncertainties in MR image analysis. To date, contradicting reports on the effect on the contrast of the coupling of a T₁ and T₂ agent have hampered the application of these specialised probes. Herein, we present a systematic experimental study on a range of gadolinium-labelled magnetite nanoparticles envisioned to bring some light into the mechanism of interaction between T₁ and T₂ components, and advance towards the design of efficient (dual) T₁ and T₂ MRI probes. Unexpected behaviours observed in some of the constructs will be discussed. In this study, we demonstrate that the relaxivity of such multimodal probes can be rationally tuned to obtain unmatched potentials in MR imaging, exemplified by preparation of the magnetite-based nanoparticle with the highest T₂ relaxivity described to date.


Keasberry, N. A., Bañobre-López, M., Wood, C., Stasiuk, G. J., Gallo, J., & Long, N. J. (2015). Tuning the relaxation rates of dual-mode T₁/T₂ nanoparticle contrast agents: a study into the ideal system. Nanoscale, 7(38), 16119-16128.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2015
Publication Date Oct 14, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Nanoscale
Print ISSN 2040-3364
Electronic ISSN 2040-3372
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 38
Pages 16119-16128
Keywords Nanoparticles; Contrast agents
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Nanoscale, 2015, v.7, issue 38.


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