Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Rice student wins award for revolutionary MRI research

Abstract:
Fullerene-based contrast agents could allow first single-cell imaging

Rice student wins award for revolutionary MRI research

Houston, TX | January 18, 2005

The Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas has selected Rice University doctoral student Balaji Sitharaman as one of two winners of the 2004 George Kozmetsky Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Nanotechnology for his efforts to create a revolutionary new class of contrast agents that could, for the first time, allow magnetic resonance imaging of individual cells.

"Balu is one of the best graduate students I have worked with in my 30 years at Rice," said Lon Wilson, professor of chemistry and Sitharaman's Ph.D. advisor. "He's already produced six peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been published or accepted by first-rank journals, and it's likely that he'll double that by the time he graduates."

More than 25 million patients in the U.S. undergo MRIs annually, and doctors use contrast agents in almost of quarter of those procedures. Contrast agents increase the sensitivity of the scans, making it easier for doctors to deliver a diagnosis. The most effective and commonly used contrast agent is the toxic metal gadolinium.

Sitharaman has created new forms of contrast agents by encasing gadolinium inside fullerenes. Fullerenes are single molecules of carbon atoms arranged in spherical or tube-shaped structures. By enclosing the gadolinium inside the carbon molecules, Sitharaman has simultaneously reduced the toxicity of the metal to near zero while boosting its effectiveness as a contrast agent.

One of Sitharaman's creations is a buckyball encasing a single atom of gadolinium. More recently, he has discovered a method of encasing as many as 100 atoms of the metal inside a short length of carbon nanotube. The resulting "gadonanotubes" are 100 times more effective as contrast agents than the best forms in clinical use.

In future work, Sitharaman plans to use existing methods of attaching antibodies and peptides to fullerenes to try to create a contrast agent that will bind only with diseased cells such as cancer cells. He is hopeful that these tissue-specific imaging agents might allow for the first intracellular, individual cell MRIs.

"I m grateful and honored by this recognition by the Nanotech Foundation of Texas and look forward to the benefit of our research to diagnostic medicine," said Sitharaman. Sitharaman and University of Texas at Austin student Aaron Saunders were named as this year's Kozmetsky Award recipients on Jan. 12. The prestigious award includes a $5,000 prize.

The awards are the first of their kind offered to U.S. graduate students working on nanotechnology. A Rice student has won one of the two awards in each of the first two years they have been offered.

Competition for the awards is fierce. For example, the scientific review board that judged this year's applicants used a 400-point scale, and the top four finishers were separated by only 42 points.

The Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas is an initiative funded by private individuals, corporations, and other foundations to accelerate research in nanotechnology by increasing the visibility of nanotechnology research, expanding research funding, and recruiting the best nanotechnology researchers from around the world to come to Texas.


Contact:
Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

Towards Stable Propagation of Light in Nano-Photonic Fibers September 20th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Semiconducting inorganic double helix: New flexible semiconductor for electronics, solar technology and photo catalysis September 15th, 2016

World's most powerful X-ray takes a 'sledgehammer' to molecules September 14th, 2016

Researchers design solids that control heat with spinning superatoms: Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University collaborators discover the cause of vastly different thermal conductivities in superatomic structural analogues September 8th, 2016

For first time, carbon nanotube transistors outperform silicon September 8th, 2016

Nanoelectronics

Mexican scientist in the Netherlands seeks to achieve data transmission ... speed of light September 20th, 2016

GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Deliver Industry’s Leading-Performance Offering of 7nm FinFET Technology: Company extends its leading-edge roadmap for products demanding the ultimate processing power September 15th, 2016

Semiconducting inorganic double helix: New flexible semiconductor for electronics, solar technology and photo catalysis September 15th, 2016

A versatile method to pattern functionalized nanowires: A team of researchers from Hokkaido University has developed a versatile method to pattern the structure of 'nanowires,' providing a new tool for the development of novel nanodevices September 9th, 2016

Announcements

Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Nanotech Grants Options September 22nd, 2016

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic