Zhijie (Hugh) Chen and Prof. Kai Liu investigated magnetic nanoprobes for enhanced magnetic resonance imaging

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In collaboration with scientists at the University of California, Davis, graduate student Zhijie (Hugh) Chen and Prof. Kai Liu have studied novel nanoscale magnetic probes for enhanced contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A report on this study was published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The research is based on a distance-dependent phenomenon called magnetic resonance tuning that occurs between two nanoscale magnetic elements, one acting as a quencher and the other an enhancer. Previous studies have shown that the change in proximity between these two components can modulate the responsiveness of one of the component, which is beneficial for MRI. In this study led by Prof. Yuanpei Li’s group at UC Davis, the team created a novel probe that generates dually modulable magnetic resonance signals which suppress the responsiveness of both components until they reach the target, at which point contrast mechanisms based on both components are turned on.  This two-way magnetic resonance tuning (TMRET) method was used to detect early-stage brain tumors in a mouse model with greatly increased sensitivity. Chen and Liu’s work focused on studying the magnetic characteristics of the nanoprobes and the mechanisms of this effect. Their research at Georgetown University was supported by the NSF, and enabled by a recently acquired Magnetic Property Measurement System (MPMS3) through a NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant.

Full article from Georgetown College can be found here.