MIT chemists have developed nanoparticles that can help doctors perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescent imaging simultaneously without needing to switch contrast agents.
The particles developed by the MIT team are the so-called branched-bottlebrush polymer dual-modality organic radical contrast agents and are "are nitroxide radical-based nanostructures that are excitable by near-infrared light and are readily identified under MRI," as per a release on the MIT website.
Jeremiah Johnson, an assistant professor of chemistry at MIT and senior author of the study said in future they were looking to develop these particles to track disease progress as well. Currently, though the use seems to focus on the tumor microenvironment.
"We think we may be able to reveal information about the tumor environment with these kinds of probes, if we can get them there," Johnson explained. "Someday you might be able to inject this in a patient and obtain real-time biochemical information about disease sites and also healthy tissues, which is not always straightforward."
The study details appear in the November 18 issue of Nature Communications.