Spin-lock MR enhances the detection sensitivity of superparamagnetic iron oxide particles

R.P.M. Moonen, P. van der Tol, S.J.C.G. Hectors, L.W.E. Starmans, K. Nicolaij, G.J. Strijkers

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    Purpose To evaluate spin-lock MR for detecting superparamagnetic iron oxides and compare the detection sensitivity of quantitative T with T2 imaging. Methods In vitro experiments were performed to investigate the influence of iron oxide particle size and composition on T. These comprise T and T2 measurements (B0 = 1.41T) of agar (2%) with concentration ranges of three different iron oxide nanoparticles (IONs) (Sinerem, Resovist, and ION-Micelle) and microparticles of iron oxide (MPIO). T dispersion was measured for a range of spin-lock amplitudes (γB1 = 6.5-91 kHz). Under relevant in vivo conditions (B0 = 9.4T; γB1 = 100-1500 Hz), T and T2 mapping of the liver was performed in seven mice pre- and 24 h postinjection of Sinerem. Results Addition of iron oxide nanoparticles decreased T as well as the native T dispersion of agar, leading to increased contrast at high spin-lock amplitudes. Changes of T were highly linear with iron concentration and much larger than T2 changes. MPIO did not show this effect. In vivo, a decrease of T was observed with no clear influence on T dispersion. Conclusion By suppression of T dispersion, iron oxide nanoparticles cause enhanced T contrast compared to T2. The underlying mechanism appears to be loss of lock. Spin-lock MR is therefore a promising technique for sensitive detection of iron oxide contrast agents. Magn Reson Med 74:1740-1749, 2015.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1740-1749
    Number of pages10
    JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


    • Spin-lock MR
    • iron oxide nanoparticles
    • rotating frame relaxation
    • T-1 rho contrast agent
    • T-1 rho dispersion
    • superparamagnetic iron oxide particles


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