Baltimore organization to research medical uses for MPI

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A Baltimore healthcare organization will be using a new type of imaging system that enables the tracking of cells for therapies in treating several types of diseases.

The F.M. Kirby Imaging Center at the Kennedy Krieger Institute is installing a magnetic particle imaging (MPI) scanner, with Jeff Bulte serving as the principal investigator for the project. Bulte, professor of radiology and radiological science and director for cell engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has led research into novel MRI and MPI applications.

MPI is a recent edition to the molecular imaging field; it is that’s not related to magnetic resonance imaging, but shows promise in looking at small components of the human body and assessing the efficacy of some medical treatments.

Researchers into the emerging technology contend that MPI provides faster, safer and more accurate detection of cells, blood perfusion and targeted biological events.

MPI quantitatively detects magnetic nanoparticles in the body with exceptional sensitivity. It enables novel applications such as the systematic tracking of therapeutic cells during therapy, inflammation and vascular function. The technology also can leverage the nanoparticles to both image functional events and administer localized hyperthermic treatments for tumor ablation and heat-sensitive drug delivery.

The Kirby Imaging Center will use the Momentum MPI system developed by Magnetic Insight.

"Magnetic particle imaging lies at the intersection of nanotechnology and medical imaging, producing potentially life-saving diagnostic capabilities complimentary to other current medical imaging technologies. Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University are world-renowned institutes well positioned to accelerate new cell and other therapies with the help of MPI," says Anna Christensen, president and CEO of Magnetic Insight.

The planned studies will be multi-disciplinary, ranging from stem cell tracking, immunotherapy, tumor hyperthermia, treatment of diabetes, gene therapy and drug delivery, all relevant to the emerging precision medical imaging efforts.

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