We are implementing a novel technology that estimates the location of biologically-targeted magnetic nanoparticles with very high sensitivity.
In this lab we are implementing a novel technology known as nanomagnetic relaxometry for cancer-related applications - primarily early detection and assessing tumor burden in response to therapy. This technology leverages the different magnetic relaxation properties of biologically targeted iron oxide nanoparticles from those experiencing unrestricted relaxation in the vascular or extracellular spaces. Our initial application using a second–generation MagSense™ device is for detecting human ovarian cancer cells in vivo.
After optimizing the in vitro sensitivity, we plan to test the ability of the MagSense™ instrument for detecting ovarian cancer xenografts. We also have the goal of developing sophisticated inverse problem reconstruction techniques that allow for recovery of a high dimensional relaxation field. Finally, we hope to deploy the first human prototype system in our clinics in the next few years.
Sara Loupot-Thrower was awarded a National Cancer Institute Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship. This award, targeted to talented doctoral candidates training in cancer related fields, will support Sara’s stipend and tuition for the remaining two years of her training.
Sara’s research efforts are with the Magnetic Relaxometry Research Laboratory where John Hazle, Ph.D., and Robert Bast, M.D., are implementing a novel technology for early cancer detection – initially focusing on the early detection of ovarian cancer.
The MagSense™ device, developed by Imagion Biosystems, Inc. performs magnetic relaxometry using an array of ultra-sensitive Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) to detect cancer cell-bound superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles by leveraging the difference in relaxation properties of tumor-bound nanoparticles from those with unrestricted motion – those in the vascular or extracellular spaces.
Sara’s dissertation research specifically focuses on the development of a sparse reconstruction algorithm to localize and quantify the bound particles from the magnetic field values measured by the MagSense™ system. She’s working with David Fuentes, Ph.D., and Hazle on this aspect of the project. MD Anderson is the first research institution to have the MagSense™ technology which provides Sara with a true pioneering opportunity as a student.
Title: A Sparse Reconstruction Algorithm for Superparamagnetic Relaxometry