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Creating long lived contrast agents for magnetic resonce imaging

Value proposition

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and its imaging analog magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are powerful clinical imaging modalities. One of the limitations of NMR and MRI is low intrinsic signal strength. Some attempts to overcome this limitation have involved the use of hyperpolarized contrast agents, which have very large nuclear polarizations and, therefore, sensitivities that are orders of magnitude higher than ordinary molecules. Polarization can persist for as long as 100 seconds in some molecules before the polarized nuclei return to thermal equilibrium. While such a lifetime is sufficient for some imaging and/or spectroscopy studies, contrast agents with longer lifetimes are highly desirable to study additional processes of interest. These processes are related to diffusion, flow, slow molecular motion, chemical reactions, metabolism, and drug targeting and distribution, among others.

Technology

The present invention relates to methods of preparing magnetic resonance imaging and/or spectroscopy contrast agents having long-lived nuclear singlet states that can be accessed by pulse sequence transformation. The invention also permits the preparation of a wide range of contrast agent molecules themselves and methods for their use. Specifically, the invention encompasses the novel principle that a spin state which has absolutely zero magnetic resonance signal, but an extremely long lifetime, can be used to store magnetization. This stored magnetization can then be recovered into an observable transition, extending the capabilities of MRI. Furthermore, the invention’s contrast agents are chemically convertible to detection molecules under various physiological conditions.

Advantages

  • The invention’s contrast agent and method of use would extend the capabilities of MRI in both clinical and research settings.
  • The invention would supplement an existing global MRI market expected to reach $8.0B in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7%.
  • The global market for nanomaterials is projected to experience rapid growth within the next four years, with an estimated growth rate of 18.9% to $91B by 2021.

Duke File (IDF) Number

T-003107

Inventor(s)

  • Warren, Warren

Patents

    • Patent Number: 8,980,225
    • Title: MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING AND/OR SPECTROSCOPY CONTRAST AGENTS AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF
    • Country: United States of America
    • Patent Number: 9,642,924
    • Title: CONTRAST AGENTS BASED ON LONG-LIVED NUCLEAR SINGLET STATES AND RELATED METHODS
    • Country: United States of America

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College

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

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