Professors in Purdue’s Department of Chemistry are developing controlled-release imaging agents that allow for a longer, safer imaging session. Unlike traditional MRI’s, an agent has a half-life of only about five minutes. This means the ability to capture a useful image usually is lost within 15 or 20 minutes. This isn’t long enough to image tumors or cardiovascular problems.
“This new technology leads to improved MR imaging,” sources says. “Agents are released in a slower, more controlled fashion. This leads to a lower concentration requirement for capturing an MR image. The lower concentration of the imaging agent, combined with its longer circulation and degradation into non-toxic byproducts, could potentially lower the risk of long MR imaging procedures.”
The technology has been licensed to Aten Biotherapeutics through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. More than 20 start-ups based on Purdue intellectual property were launched in the 2014 fiscal year.
Aten Biotherapeutics already has received a first round of investments, along with several SBIR grants in India. The company also is actively cultivating industry partnerships as it continues clinical testing and generates data.