Project TitleMultimodal MRI Contrast Agents
Track Code2007-101, 2007-102
Short Description

New class of multimodal MR contrast agents improves signal, enables validation of MR images and biochemical studies in vivo

#healthcare #imaging #MRI 


Northwestern researchers have developed a novel magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent that improves current imaging use and expands applications. Present day contrast agents are limited in the number of simultaneous imaging modalities employed and often display poor magnetism. This new contrast agent is composed of two subunits that are covalently linked with each contributing favorable properties. The subunits of the multimodal MRI contrast agent can be modified with dyes adding an optical modality to the MR functions, providing invaluable validation to MRI scans. Furthermore, the two-subunit linkers between of the contrast agent can be made cleavable by enzymes of interest to clinicians. Thus cancer progression can be monitored using this reagent by measuring the activity of matrix metalloproteases on the cleavable linkers. Clinical diagnosis of disease by MRI can be supplemented by molecular data to facilitate appropriate patient treatment. This novel contrast agent holds promise for both diagnostic and clinical use. 

Posted DateFeb 4, 2015 2:51 PM


Elise Ann Schultz Sikma

Mohammed Aslam

Vinayak P. Dravid

Bradley D. Ulrich

Thomas J. Meade*


  • Magnetic resonance imaging in clinical and laboratory settings
  • In vivo tracking of enzyme activities
  • Diagnosis and disease progression studies for cancer


  • Provide enhanced contrast
  • Allow for coregistration and validation
  • Can be optimized and functionalized to expand the range of possible applications


IP Status

Issued US patent number 8,337,813.

Contact Information

Zach Brown, PhD

Invention Associate

(p) 847.491.4629