Octopod (8-Pointed Star) Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Enhance MRI T2 Contrast

The octopod-shaped iron oxide nanoparticles of this technology significantly enhance contrast in MRI imaging compared to spherical superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle T2 contrast agents. These octopod iron oxide nanoparticles show a transverse relaxivity that is over five times greater than comparable spherical agents. Because the unique octopod shape creates a greater effective radius than spherical agents, but maintains similar magnetization properties, the relaxation rate is improved. The improved relaxation rate greatly enhances the contrast of images. These octopod agents appear to be bio-compatible and may be suitable for intravenous delivery. The synthesis of these agents is also easily reproducible and scaled. The superior contrast greatly improves diagnostic sensitivities, compared to current FDA approved spherical contrast agents. These octopod-shaped iron oxide nanoparticle T2 contrast agents may have a number of medical imaging uses, such as tumor detection, atherosclerosis imaging and delivery of therapeutic treatments.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Medical imaging, such as tumor detection, atherosclerosis imaging and delivery of therapeutic treatments.
  • Enhanced T2 contrast
  • Reproducible and scalable synthesis
  • Improved imaging and diagnostic capability

Development Stage:

In vivo data available (animal)


Xiaoyuan Chen (NIBIB)  ➽ more inventions...

Jinhao Gao

Zhenghuan Zhao

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 9,974,868 issued 2018-05-22
PCT Application No. PCT/CN2013/076645 filed on 2013-06-03
Various international patents issued/patent applications filed


Zhao Z, et al.

PMID 23903002

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this technology. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Cecilia Pazman, Ph.D. at pazmance@mail.nih.gov.

Licensing Contact:
Michael Shmilovich, J.D.
Email: shmilovm@mail.nih.gov
Phone: 301-435-5019

OTT Reference No: E-314-2013-0
Updated: Jun 5, 2018