Electrochemical Nano-manufacturing of Multi-segment Magnetic Structures to Introduce 'Color Contrast' to Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Project: Research project

Project Details


This award will provide funding to develop magnetic nanostructures as contrast agents (CAs) with controllable shape, size, chemistry and more importantly local magnetic field to introduce frequency dependent nuclear magnetic resonance(NMR) signals. These signals will be reconstructed to form 'color' magnetic resonance images (MRIs). Compared to the current MRI which can only provide grey scale images, the new technology can have significantly improved resolution, sensitivity and capability of indentify different types of CAs. Proposed research focuses on developing non-traditional nanomanufacturing approaches to fabricate multicomponent nanostructures with desirable properties for bio-medical applications. Compared to traditional lithographic and physical synthesis methods, the new approach will effectively lower cost, increase yield and improve quality control through the combination of a unique nanoporous template synthesis method and controlled electrochemical deposition technique for nano-manufacturing.

If successful, this research will develop nano-manufacturing techniques capable of producing non-spherical, muti-component and biocompatible nanomaterials with precise size, shape and composition control at levels that are difficult to achieve by other synthesis methods. Through careful design, multi-component nanomaterials can deliver a wide range of functionalities that are difficult to realize in conventional spherical particles. This ability to create diverse shapes and functionalites will then be used to create next generation MRI with three-segment CAs with discreet localized magnetic fields. The net effect is that these contrast agents will offer differing response with changing frequency. Similar to the impacts of introduction of color decoration in optical imaging using dyes and fluorophores, the introduction of 'color' contrasts in MRI will significantly improve disease diagnosis efficiency, accuracy and sensitivity. In addition, these anisotropic nanostructures will have other multi-functionalities that can be utilized in targeted delivery, tissue engineering and localized treatment. In addition, the boarder impact of the project on society will also be reflected through the integrated research and educational program development.

Effective start/end date6/1/115/31/15


  • National Science Foundation: $341,000.00


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