Project TitleZinc Sensor for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Track Code2013-036
Short Description

Novel zinc-based label for bacteria improves their detection by magnetic resonance imaging

#materials #biomedical #medicaldevice #imaging #healthcare 


Bacterial infections are a growing concern in the course of patient care. Accurate diagnosis is essential and is often achieved by growing cultures from patient samples, which can be time-consuming. Other clinical methods that aid in diagnosing an infection are non-specific, so they do not discriminate between a bacterial infection and some other disorders. Given the rise of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains, it is ever more important to have a reliable and specific test for bacterial infections so that patients can receive appropriate care. Northwestern University researchers have developed a contrast agent that is specific for bacteria and can be used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging to identify infections and monitor disease progression to help clinicians in making the most informed treatment decisions possible. This new contrast agent is able to specifically attach to the bacteria and can be used for tracking the progression of disease as well as monitoring the response to medications that are administered. Since this new reagent can be used in research settings as well as in clinics, it could improve patient outcomes and facilitate future antibiotic research efforts. 

TagsMATERIALS: biomedical, MEDICAL DEVICE: imaging, HEALTHCARE: imaging
Posted DateJan 27, 2015 2:32 PM


Lauren Matosziuk

Allison S. Harney

Keith W. MacRenaris

Thomas J. Meade*


  • Imaging of bacterial infections inside the host to chart disease progression, monitor response to therapies and guide clinical decisions
  • Imaging of bacteria or human cells in laboratory settings
  • Longitudinal studies of infected tissue and the surrounding environment


  • High efficiency of labeling
  • Enhanced contrast


IP Status

US patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Zach Brown, PhD

Invention Associate

(p) 847.491.4629