Molecularly Targeted Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. XinYe-Feng Yao


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) have tremendous utility in many fields, such as clinical diagnosis, medical research and brain science. MRI provides high resolution anatomic images of tissues/organs, and MRS provides functional molecular information related to specific regions of tissues/organs. However, it is often difficult for conventional MRI/MRS to selectively image/probe a specific metabolite molecule other than water and fat. This greatly limits study of the molecular mechanisms underlying metabolism and disease. Herein, we report a novel method for obtaining an exact molecularly targeted MRI and MRS. This method uses the nuclear spin singlet state to select the signals from a specific molecule. Several endogenous molecules in living organism such as N-acetylaspartate and dopamine have been exemplarily imaged and probed as the targeted molecules in the MRI and MRS experiments, demonstrating the unique molecular selectivity of the developed method.

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