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August 11th, 2005
Researchers at Rice University, the Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Houston and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have created a new class of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents that are at least 40 times more effective than the best in clinical use.
The new agents -- dubbed gadonanotubes -- use the same highly toxic metal, gadolinium, that is given to more than a quarter of MRI patients today, but the metal atoms are encased inside a hollow tube of pure carbon called a nanotube. Shrouding the toxic metals inside the benign carbon is expected to significantly reduce or eliminate the metal's toxicity.
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