Dr. Peter Caravan of Massachusetts General Hospital talks with Robin and Joyce about his research toward a safer contrast medium for MRI's.
MRI imaging is a very important tool in diagnosing medical conditions and working out treatment plans. It is often preferred over X-ray and CT because it does not use radiation.
In order to see some soft tissue structures, it is sometimes necessary to use a "contrast medium," a chemical compound injected into the bloodstream that improves the contrast of the grey-on-grey image, helping the radiologist see more clearly where the problem is.
Dr. Caravan is Associate Professor in Radiology and Chemistry at Harvard Medical School. He is interested in the design and formulation of new imaging probes for MRI, PET, and NIR) and theis application in detecting changes and monitoring response to therapy. His projects include a PET probe to detect thrombus; detecting fibrotic changes in kidney, lung, and heart diseases; and MR probes to sense changes in oxygen levels, acidity, and enzymatic activity.