Understanding MRI Contrast Agents

A team at Rice University is investigating nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation in the presence of MRI contrast agent gadolinium (III). The simulations showed good agreement with experiments, without any free parameters in the interpretation of the simulations. The results, however, are a stark contrast to the extended SBM model — the mainstay for interpreting relaxation in MRI.

“Overall, these discoveries open a new way to elucidate how contrast agents respond at human body conditions during an MRI scan,” said Rice chemical and biomolecular engineer Philip Singer . “By better understanding this, one can develop new, safer and more sensitive contrast agents, as well as use simulations to enhance the interpretation of MRI data.”