Molecular imaging is "the in-vivo characterization and measurement of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level" and allows the imaging of molecular abnormalities associated with diseases long before morphological changes can be detected. At present, the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for molecular and cellular imaging is rapidly increasing. MRI is a very attractive candidate, since current MRI protocols already provide anatomic, functional, and biochemical information of excellent image quality and with high spatial resolution. Combining this high spatial resolution/high contrast imaging modality with specific MRI contrast agents for molecular imaging is currently the focus of research in many laboratories worldwide. This paper summarizes the rationale for molecular MRI imaging and describes the basic features of modern molecular imaging strategies with MRI. Finally, a special focus is given to the growing field of applications, e.g., stem cell imaging, imaging of apoptosis, plaques, and other biological targets of interest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging