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Home > News > MRI Contrast Agents from Viral Nanoparticles

October 5th, 2005

MRI Contrast Agents from Viral Nanoparticles

While other groups have used dendrimers, polymer nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes as vehicles for gadolinium ions or iron oxide nanocrystals, a group headed by Trevor Douglas, Ph.D., and Mark Young, Ph.D., both at Montana State University, used the cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV), which infects only plants and which can be produced easily in large quantities, and the metal ion carrier. The proteins on the CCMV shell, or coat, are capable of binding as many as 180 metal atoms. In addition, other segments of these coat proteins can be used to attach molecules that could target the metal-loaded virus particles to tumors, while the empty interior of the virus particle can be used to ferry drug molecules to tumors.


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