La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento

Year 2013 - Issue 6 - June

In vivo biomedical applications of magnetic resonance and magnetic materials

Authors: A. Lascialfari, M. Filibian, C. Sangregorio, P. Carretta
DOI: 10.1393/ncr/i2013-10089-8
pp. 211-271
Published online 3 June 2013
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Abstract: An overview on the recent progress in the biomedical application of magnetic materials and on the most used magnetic resonance imaging techniques is presented. After briefly mentioning the basic aspects of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), some of the most frequently used pulse sequences are illustrated with particular emphasis on those used in Diffusion Tensor Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and functional MRI. Then the basis of the Dynamical Nuclear Polarization technique, which allows to perform in vivo molecular imaging of the metabolic processes, is presented. The physical properties of smart nanosized magnetic materials which can further improve the potential of these diagnostic techniques are described in the following sections. These magnetic nanoparticles may be used as MRI contrast agents, for the magnetic transport and drug delivery or even for the therapy of certain pathologies through magnetic fluid hyperthermia. The possible combination of some of these functionalities into just one multifunctional nanoparticle is also considered.