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The focus of research in Dr. Bhattacharya's laboratory in the Department of Cancer Systems Imaging is the development of real-time metabolic and imaging applications by hyperpolarization. We are exploring novel ways to utilize Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to create more detailed metabolic and molecular imaging studies by employing hyperpolarized, non-radioactive carbon 13 (13C) and nitrogen 15 (15N)-labeled compounds and silicon particles and nanoparticles (SiNPs) to tag specific metabolic and biochemical structures and functions that are altered in cancer. Hyperpolarized MR is a non-toxic, non-radioactive method for non-invasively assessing tissue metabolism and other physiologic properties. Hyperpolarization allows for a >10,000-fold signal enhancement relative to conventional MRI or MRS. After hyperpolarization, the signal enhancement can be retained on the metabolites of the hyperpolarized molecules for several minutes. Dr. Bhattacharya’s, lab is working on techniques to extend this relaxation time so that more detailed metabolic and molecular imaging studies can be considered.
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