Luna Innovations unveils MRI contrast agent

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Luna Innovations’ product development team at the nanoWorks division has produced a class of molecules designed to provide a new approach to improve the quality of MRI.

The company said its molecules have initially proven to be more effective at enhancing images and are potentially safer than current MRI agents. The new class of molecules provides a platform upon which to build a portfolio of nanomedicines aimed at disease targeting and diagnostic imaging, Luna reported.

The new class of molecules discovered by Luna, called hydrochalarone, has a level of relaxivity that is the characteristic of molecules that provides the image enhancement, according to the Roanoke, Va.-based company.
“The high relaxivity in hydrochalarone means fewer molecules are needed to obtain a better quality image,” said Robert Lenk, president of Luna’s nanoWorks division. “Our studies demonstrate that our proprietary nanomaterials do not release gadolinium under conditions which are found in the human body. Our imaging studies in mice have shown hydrochalarone improves image quality up to 30 minutes after injection at a dose 20 times lower than that used with current agents.”