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Joseph Nneji

Biochemistry, '16


Quantification of SPION accumulation in tumors using positive-contrast MRI

Mentor: Srinivas Sridhar, PhD (Northeastern University)

The purpose of this research is to develop and optimize a positive-contrast magnetic resonance imaging technique for monitoring superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticle (SPION) delivery to tumors. Ferumoxytol is currently the only SPION nanoparticle that is both FDA-approved and commercially available, and is therefore an attractive contrast agent for clinical translation. Ferumoxytol is currently being investigated in clinical trials as a negative-contrast agent with standard T1 and T2 imaging sequences for prostate cancer, glioma, and MR angiography. By using ultrashort time-to-echo (UTE) 3-D imaging techniques developed in the Sridhar lab, we are able to produce positive-contrast images tumor images with a high contrast-to-noise ratio. This imaging technique is significantly faster than clinical imaging regimes and provides images that can be quantified. We envision that this technology can ultimately offer personalized image-guided treatment planning and a means for streamlining clinical trials via smarter patient selection.

False-colored heat map of a nude mouse with a PC3 prostate tumor immediately after injection with Ferumoxytol SPIONs. SPIONs (color) are shown overlaid with an anatomical image (grayscale). Source: NEU Source: