New FET Open project will deliver safe MRI contrast agents

Saturday 12 Oct 19
by Signe Rømer Holm


Jan Henrik Ardenkjær-Larsen
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 18

The HYPERMAG Center of Excellence is part of new FET Open collaboration AlternativesToGd.

The mission of the AlternativesToGd consortium is to discover a new class of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents (CAs) that are metal-free, safe, and completely washed out by the human system after injection.

For a number of diagnostic MRI procedures, such as tumour characterization, the use of a CA is often essential. Recently, the European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommended suspension and warning labels for the use of contrast agents that are Gadolinium (Gd)-based in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The risk of accumulation of Gd in different organs and related diseases requires the scientific community to seek radically new alternatives. The AlternativesToGd vision is to identify and validate radically new compounds and technologies as alternatives to Gd-based CAs. Investigated compounds and technologies will be tested in animal models of disease and the most promising ones identified for further clinical development. The agents consist of small endogenous molecules, which will be hyperpolarized to ensure high sensitivities even at very low doses. As enabling technologies, AlternativesToGd focuses on three leading and innovative hyperpolarization techniques and on unique agents showing hyperpolarized state lifetimes sufficiently long to enable diagnostic contrast-enhanced MRI approaches with so far unmet sensitivity.

In the project, HYPERMAG will continue our work with hyperpolarized water through dissolution DNP as a low-dose, sensitive and clean contrast agent. Check out our vacant PhD position on the topic.

PI is Rachel Katz-Brull from Hadassah Medical Center, and the project efforts are coordinated by European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research. Read more about the project and our great collaboration partners here: The project is funded by the Horizon 2020 FET Open instrument.

Image: Time series of consecutive images acquired every second after injection of hyperpolarized water in pig heart. Major and minor vessels of the coronary tree can easily be identified. Recorded by former HYPERMAG PhD student Kasper Lipsø.


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