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What are SPIONs and could they be the key to low-cost MR scans?

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | July 22, 2020

While they require FDA approval for use as contrast agents, doctors can use SPIONs off-label with low-field MR. Waddington and Kuncic are also studying the use of specially coated SPIONs to see if they would allow MR to detect malignant tumors.

Rosen hopes that a human trial investigating the use of SPION-based contrast agents with low-field MR will happen sooner rather than later, in order to move toward a reality where low-cost MR is more affordable, with higher-quality imaging.

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“I’ve been reaching out to clinical collaborators here,” he said. “There is a lot of enthusiasm for that. People I have spoken to, mostly in neurology, are very interested in this. Probably something like this will happen sooner rather than later. The people who are doing low field MR, such as folks at Yale and people on Long Island at Northwell Health, are all very excited about boosting the obtainable imaging information from this new imaging modality.”

The study was supported by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Global Connections Fund Bridging Grant, the University of Sydney Nano Institute and the Cancer Institute of NSW Early Career Fellowship.

The findings were published in Science Advances.

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