Joint Centers of Excellence Program
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Bioresponsive Polymer Capsules for Disease-Triggered Activation of MRI Agents

Within the imaging field, we are working towards two goals: the development of activatable MRI agents and the application of metal-chelating nanogels for multimodal imaging. Towards the first, we have shown that encapsulation of high-contrast, hydrophobic MRI agents in particles composed of responsive polymer yield assemblies that act as activatable agents in vitro; we aim to translate this technology in disease models. Towards the second, we have shown that nanogels incorporating metal-chelating crosslinkers retain the chelated metal with maximal stability; our intended application for these nanogels is combined MRI and PET (chelating distinct metals) to detect metastases with high sensitivity and resolution.