Date of this Version
Materialstoday JULY-AUGUST 2011 | VOLUME 14 | NUMBER 7-8 330-338
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become one of the most widely used and powerful tools for non-invasive clinical diagnosis due to its high soft tissue contrast, spatial resolution, and penetration depth1. In addition, images are acquired without the use of ionizing radiation or radiotracers that would cause unwanted harmful side-effects. A considerable amount of research in medical MR imaging is focused on the development of contrast agents that can provide better delineation between healthy and diseased tissue. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are a major class of nanoscale material currently under extensive development for improved diagnosis of a wide range of diseases, including cancer2, cardiovascular disease3, and neurological disease4. The nanoscale dimensions of MNPs give rise to unique magnetic properties and the ability to function on a cellular and molecular level5. It is the combination of these characteristics that make MNPs such promising contrast agents for MRI applications.