by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | October 06, 2020
Magnetic Insight, a company specializing in magnetic particle imaging solutions, has scored a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that will go toward the study of a new imaging method called Color MPI (c-MPI).
c-MPI adds new image contrast to MPI images to improve the overall contrast of images - a feat that has been challenging to researchers for decades. The use of this technique could help clinicians better diagnose high-mortality diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The project is called Color MPI as a Novel Method for in vivo Assessment of Magnetic Nanoparticle Dynamics and Binding.
“Color MPI is built on top of an emerging new type of medical imaging, Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI),” CTO Patrick Goodwill told HCB News. “MPI directly detects an iron oxide tracer, and does not see tissue. Because MPI does not see tissue, we often pair MPI with an anatomical imaging modality such as X-ray/CT or MR.”
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Researchers, for decades, have tried to improve the contrast of these imaging methods by injecting two-component molecular imaging tracers, an invisible, physiologically specific targeting agent attached to a visible reporter. The fact that the unbound reporters outnumber bound reporters, often by 100-fold, however, reduces the sensitivity and specificity of these methods, and current imaging modalities cannot distinguish bound from unbound tracers.
Color MPI makes this distinction between bound and unbound tracers that bind specifically to diseased tissue. This builds on the promise of MPI, the unique physics of which allows for detection of bound and unbound nanoparticles.
“This grant will go toward algorithm research to improve color discrimination, nanoparticle research to improve color MPI tracers, and in vivo and in vitro testing,” said Goodwill.
Magnetic Insight plans to incorporate c-MPI into its commercial preclinical imager to enable its customers to test the limits of the technique.
The research was supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health.