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Microfabricated Particles Useful as MRI Contrast Agents

Posted Mar 14 2010 5:00pm

Description of Invention:
MRI contrast agents are versatile yet lack the sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities of optical agents. Available for licensing is an invention pertaining to microfabricated structures that can be used as MRI contrast agents with enhanced functionality or as micro-RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags. The microstructures can be engineered to appear as different effective colors when resolved using MRI as opposed to strictly grey-scale contrast of existing MRI agents. In this way they can be thought as radio-frequency analogs to quantum dots. A set of agents could be produced that would enable in vivo labeling and tracking of multiple different types of cells simultaneously. The agents can also act as radio-frequency probes of various physiological conditions. The invention can include a plurality of microstructures dispersed a liquid. The structures can have magnetic portions that vary in size, thickness and shape that are arranged to provide a substantially uniform Larmor precession frequency or a characteristic substantially uniform shift in Larmor precession frequency experienced by nuclear magnetic moments of a material when it is located in the substantially uniform field region created by the magnetic portions. In some embodiments, each of the nuclear magnetic resonance microstructures has a maximum dimension less than about 1 mm. The magnetic portions of the microstructure can be arranged proximate to each other, in contact with each other or be partially, substantially or totally coincident.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases imaging
  • Drug development
  • Drug candidate distribution tracking
  • Diagnostics
  • Microfluidics

Gary Zabow (NINDS)
Stephen J Dodd (NINDS)
Alan P Koretsky (NINDS)
John Moreland (NIST)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-081-2008/2
PCT, Application No. PCT/US2009/041142 filed 20 Apr 2009

Relevant Publication:
  1. G Zabow et al. Micro-engineered local field control for high-sensitivity multispectral MRI. Nature 2008 Jun 19;453(7198):1058-1063. [ PubMed: 18563157 ]
  2. KA Hinds et al. Highly efficient endosomal labeling of progenitor and stem cells with large magnetic particles allows magnetic resonance imaging of single cells. Blood 2003 Aug 1;102(3):867-872. [ PubMed: 12676779 ]

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
NINDS Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the use of microfabricated devices as MRI contrast agents. Please contact Dr. Melissa Maderia at 301-451-3943 or for more information.

Devices/Instrumentation - Diagnostics
Devices/Instrumentation - Therapeutics

For Additional Information Please Contact:
John Stansberry Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-5236
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 1823

Updated: 03/2010

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