Microfabricated Particles Useful as MRI Contrast Agents

MRI contrast agents are versatile yet lack the sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities of optical agents. Available for licensing is an invention pertaining to microfabricated structures that can be used as MRI contrast agents with enhanced functionality or as micro-RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags. The microstructures can be engineered to appear as different effective colors when resolved using MRI as opposed to strictly grey-scale contrast of existing MRI agents. In this way they can be thought as radio-frequency analogs to quantum dots. A set of agents could be produced that would enable in vivo labeling and tracking of multiple different types of cells simultaneously. The agents can also act as radio-frequency probes of various physiological conditions. The invention can include a plurality of microstructures dispersed a liquid. The structures can have magnetic portions that vary in size, thickness and shape that are arranged to provide a substantially uniform Larmor precession frequency or a characteristic substantially uniform shift in Larmor precession frequency experienced by nuclear magnetic moments of a material when it is located in the substantially uniform field region created by the magnetic portions. In some embodiments, each of the nuclear magnetic resonance microstructures has a maximum dimension less than about 1 mm. The magnetic portions of the microstructure can be arranged proximate to each other, in contact with each other or be partially, substantially or totally coincident.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases imaging
  • Drug development
  • Drug candidate distribution tracking
  • Diagnostics
  • Microfluidics


Gary Zabow (NIST)  ➽ more inventions...

Stephen Dodd (NINDS)  ➽ more inventions...

Alan Koretsky (NINDS)  ➽ more inventions...

John Moreland (NIST)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 10,350,312 issued 2019-07-16
U.S. Pat: 9,084,820 issued 2015-07-21
US Application No. 61/166,610
PCT Application No. PCT/US09/041142
US Application No. 12/937,843

Zabow G, et al. PMID 18563157
Hinds KA, et al. PMID 12676779

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the use of microfabricated devices as MRI contrast agents. Please contact Laurie Arrants at 301-435-3112 or arrantsl@ninds.nih.gov for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Susan Ano, Ph.D.
Email: susan.ano@nih.gov
Phone: 301-435-5515

OTT Reference No: E-081-2008-0
Updated: Sep 22, 2015