The feasibility of imaging macrophages labeled with ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (USPIO) with fast low-angle positive contrast steady-state free precession (FLAPS) was investigated through theory and in vitro experiment. Human macrophage cells were labeled with USPIO and imaged at 1.5 T. The metric "visibility," which combines magnitude and spatial extent of positive contrast, was used to evaluate the images. Negative contrast steady-state free precession (SSFP) and gradient-echo (GRE) imaging were also evaluated. Positive contrast was observed for relatively high concentrations of labeled cells for flip angles less than α=25°. Theoretical and experimental results indicate that positive visibility (VISPOS) was maximized at α=10° and 15°. Low flip angle SSFP also provided negative contrast comparable to standard SSFP and GRE imaging. Results suggest that USPIO-labeled macrophages are capable of producing the conditions necessary for positive contrast with FLAPS at clinical field strength (1.5 T) and resolution (0.8×0.8×3 mm3).
- Positive contrast
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging