Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2015


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) relies heavily on contrast agents such that diagnosis of various diseases can be made with increased confidence. Current contrast agents for MRI depend on various chelated molecules composed of a toxic gadolinium ion, Gd3+. In 2006, a discovery was made connecting Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) and these gadolinium based contrast agents (GBCAs). The connection between life threatening NSF and GBCAs stems from patients with pre-existing kidney malfunctions. It has been proposed that an alternative agent such as iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) be investigated. These IONPs theoretically will have similar responses in efficiency of improving the contrast of MRI images. To ensure the biocompatibility of these molecules we will investigate implementation of a biologically safe gold coating around the IONP. We will present what is observed in the characterization of these IONPs.