29 Nov 2018

Successful ARC grant for Australia's first Magnetic Particle Imaging facility

"What you see is what you've got". In MPI (far left), SPIO tracers
are bright, not dark, and can be accurately quantified.
Main advantages of MPI over other imaging modalities:
(A) no background signal similar to PET but without the use of radiation,
(B) no tissue signal attenuation as seen with fluorescence imaging, and
(C) no image artefacts as seen in MRI. Image derived from Zheng et al
In the most recent round of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants Monash University was the most successful institution in Victoria.

Professor Terry O'Brien, Head of the Department of Neuroscience and Associate Professor Christoph Hagemeyer, head of the NanoBiotechnology Laboratory at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases at the Central Clinical School are Chief Investigators on an $898,450 LEIF grant to establish the first Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) facility in Australia. The lead investigator is Professor Gary Egan, Director of  Monash Biomedical Imaging.

MPI is a technique that detects the magnetic properties of superparamagnetic iron-oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles to produce 3D images. MPI is a high-speed and high-sensitivity breakthrough technology with applications in the disciplines of cell tracking, material science and biotechnology.

The facility will be critical for the generation of new knowledge in the industrial biosciences research sector and provide unique benefits to the national research community. It will also significantly enhance Australia’s leadership in nanotechnology and molecular imaging, strengthen Australia’s research and innovation reputation in biotechnology, and unlock opportunities for the Australian biotechnology industry.

The newly funded MPI machine, along with the recently installed 9.4T MRI, PET-CT and high resolution structure CT-FLECT machines, will make the Alfred Research Alliance (ARA) Preclinical Imaging Facility, led by Dr David Wright, the most advanced in the country, and one of the leading such facilities in the world.

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