Scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom have discovered a safer contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The agent is an alternative to commonly used but potentially harmful gadolinium-based agents.
MRI uses paramagnetic metals (contrast agents) to produce high-resolution, non-invasive images of the internal structure of the body. Although gadolinium is commonly used by scientists as a contrast agent, its recent association with a severe tissue disorder in patients with kidney failure has prompted the development of new, safer contrast agents.
Dipanjan Pan, from the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis (USA) and his colleagues removed manganese oxide nanoparticles in a mixture of vegetable oil and surfactant to form manganese oxide nanocoloids with phospholipid structures. The researchers showed that nanocolloids are highly sensitive to fibrin, a major component of blood clots, and are therefore highly effective as contrast agents.
On the other hand, the human body can metabolize and excrete colloids easily.
Full article: RSC