Magnetic barcode imaging for contrast agents

Andy H. Hung, Laura M. Lilley, Fengqin Hu, Victoria S.R. Harrison, Thomas J. Meade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To demonstrate a new MR imaging approach that unambiguously identifies and quantitates contrast agents based on intrinsic agent properties such as r1, r2, r* 2, and magnetic susceptibility. The approach is referred to as magnetic barcode imaging (MBI). Methods: Targeted and bioresponsive contrast agents were imaged in agarose phantoms to generate T1, T2, T* 2, and quantitative susceptibility maps. The parameter maps were processed by a machine learning algorithm that is trained to recognize the contrast agents based on these parameters. The output is a quantitative map of contrast agent concentration, identity, and functional state. Results: MBI allowed the quantitative interpretation of intensities, removed confounding backgrounds, enabled contrast agent multiplexing, and unambiguously detected the activation and binding states of bioresponsive and targeted contrast agents. Conclusion: MBI has the potential to overcome significant limitations in the interpretation, quantitation, and multiplexing of contrast enhancement by MR imaging probes. Magn Reson Med 77:970–978, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-978
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • contrast agent
  • machine learning
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • molecular imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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