- Probes cross the blood-brain barrier (<100nM in size)
- Toxic, biodegradable, biocompatible, cost-effective
- It May be used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as near-infrared imaging
Recent advances in technology have provided a wide variety of tools that are capable of imaging the brain. However, they are limited by their inability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Though there are several contrast agents for imaging the brain at molecular level have been developed, very few of them are capable of crossing the BBB. To circumvent the issue of crossing the BBB, methods have been developed to disrupt the BBB to allow imaging agents to enter the brain. However, these methods have not found traction as they cause neuronal injuries. Thus, it is important to develop probes that can permeate the BBB to advance neuroimaging.
UGA researchers have developed a probe that is non-toxic, biodegradable, biocompatible, less than 100 nm in size, scalable and cost effective. This probe is based on organic nanoparticle that incorporates iron oxide and L-DOPA and is tailored to image brain dopaminergic system. The probe is bimodal, and can be used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as near infrared imaging.
Brain Imaging; Medical Imaging