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Tailored Nanoscale Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

[+] Author Affiliations
Alex J. Barker, Conrad R. Stoldt

University of Colorado at Boulder

Brant Cage, Stephen Russek

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Ruchira Garg, Robin Shandas

The Children’s Hospital

Paper No. IMECE2005-81503, pp. 581-590; 10 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Electronic and Photonic Packaging, Electrical Systems Design and Photonics, and Nanotechnology
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4217-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Two potential molecular imaging vectors are investigated for material properties and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast improvement. Monodisperse magnetite (Fe3 O4 ) nanocrystals ranging in size from 7 to 22 nm are solvothermally synthesized by thermolysis of Fe(III) acetylacetonate (Fe(AcAc)3 ) both with and without the use of heptanoic acid (HA) as a capping ligand. For the resulting Fe3 O4 nanocrystals, X-Ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution TEM (HRTEM), and superconducting quantum interference device magnetometry (SQUID) is used to identify the average particle size, monodispersity, crystal symmetry, and magnetic properties of the ensembles as a function of time. The characterization study indicates that the HA synthesis route at 3 hours produced nanoparticles with the greatest magnetic anisotropy (15.8 × 104 J/m3 ). The feasibility of Fe8 single molecule magnets (SMMs) as a potential MRI contrast agent is also examined. SQUID magnetization measurements are used to determine anisotropy and saturation of the potential agents. The effectiveness of the Fe3 O4 nanocrystals and Fe8 as potential MRI molecular probes is evaluated by MRI contrast improvement using 1.5 mL phantoms dispersed in de-ionized water. Results indicate that the magnetically optimized Fe3 O4 nanocrystals and Fe8 SMMs hold promise for use as contrast agents based on the reported MRI images and solution phase T1 /T2 shortening.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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