Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents have provided new capabilities for biomarker detection through molecular imaging. MRI contrast agents based on the T exchange mechanism have more recently expanded the armamentarium of agents for molecular imaging. Compared with T and T* agents, T exchange agents have a slower chemical exchange rate, which improves the ability to design these MRI contrast agents with greater specificity for detecting the intended biomarker. MRI contrast agents that are detected through chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) have even slower chemical exchange rates. Another emerging class of MRI contrast agents uses hyperpolarized 13C to detect the agent with outstanding sensitivity. These hyperpolarized 13C agents can be used to track metabolism and monitor characteristics of the tissue microenvironment. Together, these various MRI contrast agents provide excellent opportunities to develop molecular imaging for biomarker detection.


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