Developing New Multicolor Protein MRI Contrast Agents
van Zijl P, McMahon M, Gilad A, Bulte J
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute
We are interested in expanding the capabilities of cellular MR imaging by developing contrast agents which allow distinction between multiple cell populations. In this work, we present four prototype amino acid sequences, tested in-vitro, which can be discriminated from each other using MRI. These agents produce contrast through the Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) mechanism, with the colors coming from the frequency dependency of the contrast. The magnitude of the contrast is dependent on the rate of exchange, which we also show can be predicted. These new agents should allow improved visualization of, for example, tumor-host interactions through MRI.