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WSU researcher's work could result in shorter, sharper MRI scans, earlier diagnoses

December 5, 2012


Diagnoses of cancer, heart disease, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis could happen faster with technology being developed by a Wayne State University researcher. Matthew Allen, assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is seeking to commercialize a class of contrast agents that can enhance the effectiveness of magnetic resonance imaging scans. Contrast agents are injectable "drugs" containing a paramagnetic element that creates temporary magnetic differences between similar tissues, enabling them to appear differently in an MRI scan. Of about 60 million annual MRI scans worldwide, 40 to 50 percent currently use contrast agents; the rest can show tissue differences without them.