Science Market Update

Groundbreaking University Biomedical Research Identifies Superior MRI Agent

Posted by Jaimee Saliba on Tue, Jul 03, 2012

university biomedical researchThe first construction of an image by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMRI) by Dr. Paul Lauterbur took place at the University at Stony Brook thirty years ago, and the Stony Brook Chemistry professor went on to win the 2003 Nobel Prize for his work. So it's fitting that another breakthrough in MRI technology is also taking place at the Long Island research university, this time by biomedical engineer Balaji Sitharaman, right, and his team, who have developed a potentially safer and more cost effective MRI contrast agent for improved disease diagnosis and detection. The agent is graphene-based rather than gadolinium-based, and the success of the advanced agent is documented in a recent PLoS ONE article.

[Photo courtesy of Stony Brook University]

Dr. Sitharaman says of the new generation of contrast media:

“A graphene-based contrast agent can allow the same clinical MRI performance at substantially lower dosages. The technology will lower health care costs by reducing the cost per dose as well as the number of doses required. Further, since this new MRI contrast agent will substantially improve disease detection by increasing sensitivity and diagnostic confidence, it will enable earlier treatment for many diseases, which is less expensive, and of course more effective for diseases such as cancer.”

Graphene agents also exhibit lower toxicity compared to gadolinium, which has had restrictions placed on its usage by the FDA. Additionally, most standard MRI contrast agents are not suitable for extended-residence-intravascular (blood pool), or tissue (organ)-specific imaging, and do not allow molecular imaging. The race to develop this next generation of agents is being carried out in academic and industry labs around the world. Dr. Sitharaman and his team are making excellent progress, having secured funding (in the form of a Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award) for clinical trials and started a company, Theragnostic Technologies, Inc., to commercialize the venture.

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Stony Brook University’s reach extends from its 1,039-acre campus on Long Island’s North Shore – encompassing the main academic areas, Stony Brook University Medical Center, the Health Sciences Center (Schools of Medicine), and the Veterans Home – to Stony Brook Manhattan, a new Research and Development Park, three business incubators, and the Stony Brook Southampton campus on Long Island’s East End. Stony Brook also co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining Princeton, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and the University of California as the only major institutions involved in a research collaboration with a national lab.


Biotechnology Calendar Inc. invites Long Island area biomedical and life science researchers to attend its 7th Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ event on the Stony Brook University to view  life science products on campus on October 18, 2012. The event is an excellent place for researchers and suppliers of medical equipment and laboratory tools to meet and discuss the latest advances in technology. 

Our Stony Brook BRPF event is the 4th in our fall line-up of New York Metro Area shows:

See our full 2012 Nationwide Show Schedule for all other locations.

Click below for information on exhibiting at Stony Brook and a funding report on the university:

stony brook medical center





Tags: biomedical sciences, biomedical research, Northeast, New York, Stony Brook University, venture development in life sciences, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Biomedical Research Funding, scientist solutions, life science products, science solution

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