There is a great need for positive contrast agents for ultra-high field strength (e7 T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to enable increased spatial resolution and sensitivity to disease states in both preclinical and clinical research. Our long-term goal is to develop positive contrast agents for ultra-high field strength MRI to fill this void in diagnostic medicine by focusing on EuII complexes that are among the most promising areas of study. The overall objective of this application is to establish the groundwork necessary for translation of our new EuII-based complexes into useful contrast agents by maximizing stability, optimizing imaging properties, and evaluating toxicity. The rationale that underpins the proposed research is that EuII can be stabilized against oxidation and rendered non-toxic in vivo through ligand modification and formulation with antioxidants as we have recently demonstrated. The expected outcome of this proposal is the establishment of EuII-based complexes for use as contrast agents in ultra-high field strength MRI. This outcome is expected to have a positive impact by contributing to the NIH's mission in the diagnosis of human diseases. We plan to achieve the objective of the proposal by pursuing three specific aims: (1) to chemically enhance the stabilities and imaging-relevant parameters of our EuII-containing complexes;(2) to characterize the toxicity of our EuII- containing complexes;and (3) to characterize the in vivo imaging properties of our EuII-containing complexes. The new EuII-based probes will be significant because they are expected to enable diagnostic images to be acquired at ultra-high field strengths with higher resolution in less time than those currently acquired at clinical field strengths. Furthermore, because ultra-high field strengths are commonplace in NIH-supported preclinical research, this proposal is expected to maximize returns in the many other investments of the NIH related to MRI.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is relevant to public health because the innovative contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging described in this proposal are expected to fill a void in current diagnostic medicine. The proposed contrast agents will allow for earlier detection and thus more effective treatment of diseases including traumatic brain injury, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as greatly aiding in research focused on treating these diseases. Subsequently, higher success rates and better monitoring of therapeutic treatments will be enabled. This project is particularly relevant to NIH's mission because the contrast agents described in this proposal would be powerful tools in the diagnosis of disease and would significantly advance the Nation's capacity to protect and improve health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
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Synthetic and Biological Chemistry A Study Section (SBCA)
Program Officer
Liu, Christina
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Wayne State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Ekanger, Levi A; Ali, Meser M; Allen, Matthew J (2014) Oxidation-responsive Eu(2+/3+)-liposomal contrast agent for dual-mode magnetic resonance imaging. Chem Commun (Camb) 50:14835-8
Kuda-Wedagedara, Akhila N W; Allen, Matthew J (2014) Enhancing magnetic resonance imaging with contrast agents for ultra-high field strengths. Analyst 139:4401-10