Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Engineered Manganese-Based Nanoparticles as MRI Contrast Agents for Early Tumor Detection

Abdelrahman Eman
Chemistry Department
University of Georgia
Chemistry Building, Room 400
Inorganic Seminar

Cancer is a fatal disease, affecting approximately 25% of the population worldwide1. Given the global impact, early detection of cancer is needed to reduce morbidity and prevent mortality2. Unfortunately, not all forms of cancer diagnosis such as blood tests or biopsy can detect the disease during its early stages. Medical imaging has emerged as one of the salient tools for early detection, but not all imaging modalities fit this criterion. Some modalities either offer low penetration depth or spatial resolution while others use radiation for detection, possibly increasing the burden on cancer patients. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) circumvents these issues by using non-invasive magnetic field offering unlimited penetration depth and high resolution3. Additionally, MRI provides contrast but with low sensitivity measured by relaxivity r1, a known stumbling block when it comes to early detection. To overcome low sensitivity, contrast agents such as gadolinium and manganese-based agents are used in conjunction with MRI. Gadolinium has been clinically approved for MRI imaging since the 1980s but suffers from side effects such as brain hypersensitivity, neuronal death and is contraindicated in patients with renal impairment causing nephrogenic systemic failure 4. Given these side effects, manganese based-agents have transpired as an alternative to gadolinium for suffering patients. Although safer for patients, manganese-based agents offer lower r1 values in comparison to gadolinium-based agents, provoking research in improving this value. This talk will focus on enhancing the r1 values of manganese-based agents by doping manganese with different host materials such as Prussian Blue5, clay-like layered double hydroxide6 and hydroxy-apatite7.

  2. Etzioni, R.; Urban, N.; Ramsey, S.; McIntosh, M.; Schwartz, S.; Reid, B.; Radich, J.; Anderson, G.; Hartwell, L. Early Detection: The Case for Early Detection. Nat. Rev. Cancer2003, 3(4), p.243.
  3. Smith, B.R.; Gambhir, S.S. Nanomaterials For In Vivo Imaging. Chem. Rev., 2017, 117(3), p.901-986.
  4. Chellan, P.; Sadler, P.J. The Elements of Life and Medicines. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A2015, 373(2037), p.20140182.
  5. Cai, X.; Gao, W.; Ma, M.; Wu, M.; Zhang, L.; Zheng, Y.; Chen, H.; Shi, J. A Prussian BlueBased Core–Shell HollowStructured Mesoporous Nanoparticle as a Smart Theranostic Agent with Ultrahigh pHResponsive Longitudinal Relaxivity. Adv. Mater.2015, 27(41), p.6382-6389.
  6. Li, B.; Gu, Z.; Kurniawan, N.; Chen, W.; Xu, Z.P. ManganeseBased Layered Double Hydroxide Nanoparticles as a T1MRI Contrast Agent with Ultrasensitive pH Response and High Relaxivity. Adv. Mat., 201729(29), p.1700373.
  7. Mi, P.; Kokuryo, D.; Cabral, H.; Wu, H.; Terada, Y.; Saga, T.; Aoki, I.; Nishiyama, N.; Kataoka, K. A pH-Activatable Nanoparticle with Signal-Amplification Capabilities for Non-invasive Imaging of Tumour Malignancy. Nat. Nanotech., 201611(8), p.724-730.


Support Us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.

Got More Questions?

Undergraduate inquiries: 

Registration and credit

AP Credit, Section Changes, Overrides,

Graduate inquiries:

Contact Us!

Assistant to the Department Head: Donna Spotts, 706-542-1919 

Main office phone: 706-542-1919 

Main Email:

Head of Chemistry: Prof. Jason Locklin