Debbie Anaby1, Liat Avram1, Amnon Bar-Shir2, Ofer Sadan3, Smadar Cohen4, Niva Segev-Amzaleg5, Dan Frenkel5, Daniel Offen3, Yoram Cohen1
1School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; 2Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; 3Department of neurology, Rabin Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv; 4Avram & Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel; 5Department of Neurobiology, The Goerge Weiss Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Calcium cations are involved in myriad of biological processes and pathologies. Despite the crucial role played by calcium in living systems, the noninvasive determination or imaging of calcium levels in opaque samples and deep tissues remains a formidable challenge. Here we describe a new platform based on superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles coated with mono-disperse alginate, which enables specific detection of Calcium, by MRI. These nanoparticles were shown to detect calcium secreted in Quinolinic Acid lesions in rats brains in vivo. This new non-invasive MRI biomarker for calcium has the potential to act as a calcium probe in in vivo settings.