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    Protein Nanostructures Produce Self-Adjusting Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast through Physical Gas Partitioning. Kunth Martin,Lu George J,Witte Christopher,Shapiro Mikhail G,Schröder Leif ACS nano Signal amplification strategies are critical for overcoming the intrinsically poor sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) reporters in noninvasive molecular detection. A mechanism widely used for signal enhancement is chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) of nuclei between a dilute sensing pool and an abundant detection pool. However, the dependence of CEST amplification on the relative size of these spin pools confounds quantitative molecular detection with a larger detection pool typically making saturation transfer less efficient. Here we show that a recently discovered class of genetically encoded nanoscale reporters for Xe magnetic resonance overcomes this fundamental limitation through an elastic binding capacity for NMR-active nuclei. This approach pairs high signal amplification from hyperpolarized spins with ideal, self-adjusting saturation transfer behavior as the overall spin ensemble changes in size. These reporters are based on gas vesicles, i.e., microbe-derived, gas-filled protein nanostructures. We show that the xenon fraction that partitions into gas vesicles follows the ideal gas law, allowing the signal transfer under hyperpolarized xenon chemical exchange saturation transfer (Hyper-CEST) imaging to scale linearly with the total xenon ensemble. This conceptually distinct elastic response allows the production of quantitative signal contrast that is robust to variability in the concentration of xenon, enabling virtually unlimited improvement in absolute contrast with increased xenon delivery, and establishing a unique principle of operation for contrast agent development in emerging biochemical and in vivo applications of hyperpolarized NMR and magnetic resonance imaging. 10.1021/acsnano.8b04222
    Nanosensors for the Chemical Imaging of Acetylcholine Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Luo Yi,Kim Eric H,Flask Chris A,Clark Heather A ACS nano A suite of imaging tools for detecting specific chemicals in the central nervous system could accelerate the understanding of neural signaling events critical to brain function and disease. Here, we introduce a class of nanoparticle sensors for the highly specific detection of acetylcholine in the living brain using magnetic resonance imaging. The nanosensor is composed of acetylcholine-catalyzing enzymes and pH-sensitive gadolinium contrast agents co-localized onto the surface of polymer nanoparticles, which leads to changes in T relaxation rate (1/ T). The mechanism of the sensor involves the enzymatic hydrolysis of acetylcholine leading to a localized decrease in pH which is detected by the pH-sensitive gadolinium chelate. The concomitant change in 1/ T in vitro measured a 20% increase from 0 to 10 μM acetylcholine concentration. The applicability of the nanosensors in vivo was demonstrated in the rat medial prefrontal cortex showing distinct changes in 1/ T induced by pharmacological stimuli. The highly specific acetylcholine nanosensor we present here offers a promising strategy for detection of cholinergic neurotransmission and will facilitate our understanding of brain function through chemical imaging. 10.1021/acsnano.8b01640
    Nano-sized and other improved reporters for magnetic resonance imaging of angiogenesis. Crich Simonetta Geninatti,Terreno Enzo,Aime Silvio Advanced drug delivery reviews Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) enables to provide anatomical, functional and molecular information of pathological angiogenesis when used with properly tailored imaging probes. Functional studies have been the domain of Dynamic Contrast Enhancement (DCE) -MRI protocols from which it is possible to extract quantitative estimations on key parameters such as the volumes of vascular and extracellular compartments and the rates of the bidirectional exchange of the imaging reporters across the endothelial barrier. Whereas paramagnetic Gd-complexes able to reversibly bind to serum albumin act better than the clinically used small-sized, hydrophilic species, new findings suggest that an accurate assessment of the vascular volume is possible by analyzing images acquired upon the i.v. administration of Gd-labelled Red Blood Cells (RBCs). As far as it concerns molecular MRI, among the many available biomarkers, αβ integrins are the most investigated ones. The low expression of these targets makes mandatory the use of nano-sized systems endowed with the proper signal enhancing capabilities. A number of targeted nano-particles have been investigated including micelles, liposomes, iron oxides and perfluorocarbon containing systems. Finally, a growing attention is devoted to the design and testing of "theranostic" agents based on the exploitation of MRI to monitor drug delivery processes and therapeutic outcome. 10.1016/j.addr.2017.08.004
    Ratiometric MRI sensors based on core-shell nanoparticles for quantitative pH imaging. Okada Satoshi,Mizukami Shin,Sakata Takao,Matsumura Yutaka,Yoshioka Yoshichika,Kikuchi Kazuya Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) Ratiometric MRI sensors consist of paramagnetic cores and pH-sensitive polymer shells. The core-shell nanostructure enables the coexistence of two incompatible NMR relaxation properties in one particle. The sensors show pH sensitivity in transverse relaxivity (r2 ), but not in longitudinal relaxivity (r1 ). Quantitative pH imaging is achieved by measuring the r2 /r1 value with a clinical 3 T MRI scanner. 10.1002/adma.201305018