Russian Science Foundation grant winners: Contrast agents for MRI quality enhancement
The project titled «Development of new contrast agents for MRT based on nanosized rare earth fluorides» is headed by Senior Research Associate of the Institute of Physics Yegor Alakshin. The work will also involve employees of the Magnetic Radio Spectroscopy and Quantum Electronics Lab Yekaterina Kondratyeva and Darya Nuzhina.
MRI is one of the most informative contemporary methods of medical diagnostics. However, the difference between normal and abnormal tissues or vessels in early stages of diseases is usually hardly noticeable, and additional contrast is needed. Currently existing contrast agents were created for low magnetic conditions, and they need to be replaced in order to be compatible with more modern MRI machines.
Dr. Alakshin has been studying nanoparticles since 2009 under Professor Murat Tagirov's guidance; the collaborators have published 20 papers in international journals. One of the ideas that emerged is that rare earth fluorides can be useful as MRI contrast agents. Experiments conducted this year have shown that the hypothesis is actually viable.
As Dr. Alakshin told us, the project will be mostly dedicated to determining the toxicity of fluorides towards certain biological objects. "Thanks to a new contrast agent images analyzed by doctors will be more informative – the differences between normal and abnormal regions will be seen earlier and clearer. Early diagnostics of serious diseases will significantly increase patients' chances for full recovery".