Contrast drug based on Gd2O3 nanomaterials applied in imaging technology

With the goal of researching and manufacturing a stable magnetic fluid system based on extremely small Gd2O3 materials (1.5–10 nm) coated by biocompatible polymers, the application of contrast medicine in resonance imaging from MRI, which has high contrast and low toxicity, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thuy Khue and the research team of the Institute for Tropical Technology carried out the project: "Study on synthesis and evaluation of biotoxicity of contrast drugs based on Gd2O3 nanomaterials applied in additive imaging techniques influence from MRI” (project code: GUST.STS.ĐT2020-KHVL04). The project has been accepted and rated as Good.

The team's research is not only limited to basic research in the field of MRI and CT imaging, but also becomes a premise for realizing the application of nanotechnology in treatment and diagnostic imaging.

Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography are the most commonly used diagnostic imaging techniques in medicine today due to their high 3-dimensional resolution, good image quality, and penetrating power. However, the main limitation of these diagnostic techniques is their relatively low sensitivity, which in many cases requires the aid of contrast agents to improve image quality. The need for contrast agents in MRI and CT scans is significant.

MRI Scanner 1.5 Tesla

For the method of computed tomography, currently iodine-based substances are being used as contrast agents because iodine can increase the absorption of X-ray energy used in CT scans. However, this is also a contrast agent that has been shown to cause kidney failure in people with kidney issues, people with diabetes or people who do not drink enough water to eliminate iodine from the body.

CT scan

Currently, there is a nano-sized Gd2O3 material to replace Gadolinium complexes as a positive contrast agent for MRI techniques to improve the risks to the operator. This new Gd2O3 nanomaterial on the one hand improves the r1 recovery rate for better contrast MRI images, and on the other hand can reduce toxicity because they are encapsulated with a ligand shell that limits the release of Gd3+ ions into the body. Gd2O3 nanoparticles can be eliminated from the body much more quickly by the kidney.

Based on the statements above, the group's goal is to study and fabricate a metastable magnetic fluid system based on extremely small (1.5–10 nm) Gd2O3 materials encased by biocompatible polymers. At the same time, it is used as a contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with high contrast and low toxicity.

Equipment system for synthesizing nanoparticles Gd2O3

The research team has successfully prepared nano-sized Gd2O3, Gd2O3@PMAO and Gd2O3@PVP by a much simpler chemical method than previously published methods. The team has successfully conducted tests for biological applications such as cytotoxicity testing and MRI and CT scans.

Diagram depicting the synthesis of Gd2O3@PMAO by thermal decomposition in organic solvents

The team confirmed the great potential of magnetic fluids with high stability in the pH=2-11 range and in [NaCl] salt environments up to 380mM (higher than the salt concentration in living organisms), that completely can be studied at a higher level for practical applications with living organisms in diagnostic imaging in the not too distant future. The team looks forward to continuing further and broader studies on the applications of Gd2O3@biocompatible polymers in MRI and CT. At the same time, it is hoped that other parameters will be given to improve in the application of further non-invasive imaging on more advanced living organisms.

Investigate the stability of Gd2O3@PMAO under different conditions: pH (a) and NaCl concentration (b) compared with the control sample at pH = 7 and [NaCl] = 0M

Translated by Quoc Khanh
Link to Vietnamese version

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