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SMART contrast agent project develops multifunctional imaging contrast agents including nano-fabricated agents that can sense and report local properties.


Work on smart agents is focused on developing new micro- and nanoparticle- based contrast agents for MRI and new MR imaging and sensing schemes. These include synthetic antiferromagnet nanoparticles as potential new contrast agents, high-moment iron microparticles for enhanced T2* contrast for in vivo cell-tracking, specially shaped magnetic microparticles for multispectral MRI, and dynamic magnetic microstructures incorporating smart polymers for remote sensing applications. 

Major Accomplishments


magnetic nanoprobe
Shape-changing magnetic nanoprobe can measure local pH deep within tissues and in real time, using MRI to ‘read’ the probe output.
G. Zabow, S.J. Dodd and A.P. Koretsky. Shape-changing magnetic assemblies as high-sensitivity NMR-readable nanoprobes. Nature, Published online March 16, 2015
MRI images
Shaped magnetic microparticles allow for MRI multiplexing / distinction between multiple, different, contrast agent types that would normally be indistinguishable in regular MRI.

MRI showing the enhanced contrast from microfabricated T2* contrast agents compared to commercially available agents of similar size.

microfabricated magnetic particles
Scanning electron micrographs of various microfabricated magnetic particles for T2* and multispectral MRI contrast.

Information on postdoctoral research opportunities here.

Created July 25, 2016, Updated November 15, 2017