This technology allows doctors to make the right patient care decisions critical to patient outcome.


Interpolymer Complex - Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Detection of Oxidative Stress


Inflammation is at the root of many diseases including atherosclerosis, a complex disease that causes heart attacks and strokes and accounts for thirty percent of worldwide deaths. Information gained from imaging studies helps identify patients at risk for heart attacks and strokes as well as the severity of disease.

Contrast agents are often used with various imaging modalities to highlight tissues of interests, and the ability to target contrast agents to molecular cues of disease, i.e. molecular imaging, promises to enhance clinical imaging and allow doctors to make more informed treatment decisions. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles affect T2 and T2* signal in MR imaging and are a widely studied class of contrast agent for molecular imaging of various diseases. SPIOs cause MR contrast by affecting the magnetic moment of the surrounding water molecules, but coating the SPIO surface affects this interaction and consequently the ability of the SPIO to cause contrast.

This new contrast agent technology more effectively detects the dangerous disease states based on a functional parameter of disease and allows doctors to make the right patient care decisions critical to patient outcome. Other applications of this coated contrast agent are as a dopant in tissue engineered constructs to monitor the microenvironment.


Selectively activated (going from creating no contrast to creating contrast) when in the presence of oxidative stress.

Potential Applications:

The IPC-SPIOs could be used as a contrast agent for MRI, whereby the complexes would detect a functional parameter of inflammatory disease. The agent could be used in a number of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, etc. The use of a co-localization 2-nanoparticle system makes this a potential with many other diseases.

Development Status:


Intellectual Property Position:

Patent strategy is currently under evaluation. 

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