Skip to main content


Development of new pulse sequences for improved magnetic resonance image contrast enhancement using magnetic nanoparticles


Magnetic nanoparticles NPs in the form of biocompatible iron oxide NPs are key components of next-generation drug delivery systems, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, and cell separation systems for disease diagnosis. One of the most powerful attributes of magnetic NPs is their use as a versatile MRI contrast enhancement agent. Codi Gharagouzloo, IGERT fellow, has developed novel pulse sequences that will help improve contrast enhancement using these magnetic nanoparticles. In this project, he has developed a mathematical model relating SPION concentration, physiological location and magnetic field strength. In vivo mice experiments were carried out to validate the model. It was shown that using these novel pulse sequences, positive contrast imaging of organs and blood vessels were visible using magnetic nanoparticles. Angiographic type images rendered demonstrated a significant change from previous imaging without contrast. Results from this work will have a profound effect on how MRI can be further utilized in cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Address Goals

The National Cancer Institute has recognized nanotechnology as one of the promising technologies in the fight against cancer. Research in the field of cancer nanotechnology is highly interdisciplinary and offers new approaches in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. One of the biggest challenges faced in cancer therapy is the lack of understanding on the successful delivery of chemotherapeutics in the cancer area. Nanoparticles can be synthesized to have the ability to encapsulate chemotherapeutic drugs which will minimize undesirable side effects. Along with this, reporters can be attached to nanoparticles that will enable monitoring of these within the body. This simultaneous delivery of drug along with the ability to monitor their delivery has had enormous benefits in the fight against cancer. This will allow for better monitoring of the effectiveness of drug delivery along with better treatment outcome for cancer patients resulting in improved survival.