High Throughput MR Microscopy for Cancer Screening

Period of Performance: 07/02/2007 - 07/01/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mrpath, Inc.
Durham, NC 27703
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project will develop the technologies required to make magnetic resonance histology (MRH) broadly available as a cost effective high throughput service to cancer researchers, pathologists and molecular biologists. With the technology developed in this proposal investigators will be able send their live animals via courier to MRPath where the animals will be perfusion/immersion fixed using recently developed staining methods that increase the tissue signal by 10X. 3D MR imaging studies will be executed at spatial resolution down to 25 microns, more than 60,000X higher resolution than is routine in the clinical arena with resulting imagery delivered automatically to the investigator's computer. Target applications include morphologic phenotyping of whole mice, mouse fetuses and mouse brains. Phase I of the project will demonstrate proof of principles required for high throughput scanning. More specifically we will develop the hardware and software to increase the scan efficiency by at least 200% over existing methods. This proof of principle will lay the groundwork for phase II of the project which will move the method to routine use and validate the value of MRH in three targeted markets (whole mouse screening in cancer models; structural phenotyping in the mouse fetus; neurotoxicology in the mouse). These demonstrations will enable, in Phase II, totally automated acquisition of up to 100 3D image sets in a single day. We will target three very diverse applications: whole mouse screening for total tumor mass; whole mouse embryo/fetus screening for developmental biology; mouse and rat brain screening for neurotoxicology and neurobiology.