Dr Mounir Ibrahim
Current Research Activities
Chelated gadolinium compounds and magnetic nanoparticles have been developed for use as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. However, both chelated gadolinium compounds and magnetic particles are rapidly cleared from the blood stream. In order to extend the lifetime of the contrast agents in the blood stream, we have encapsulated contrast agents within red blood cells (RBCs). A key strategy for loading RBCs with contrast agent is to incubate them in the presence of the contrast agents under hypo-osmolar conditions. The RBCs can be re-sealed by bringing the osmolarity of the medium back up to physiological values. The osmotic pulse method was found to yield the greatest cell-specific relaxivity enhancements (71-fold for longitudinal relaxivity and 39-fold for transverse relaxivity).