Graphene Technology

, Volume 1, Issue 1–4, pp 17–28

Safety and efficacy of a high-performance graphene-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent for renal abnormalities

  • Shruti Kanakia
  • Jimmy Toussaint
  • Praveen Kukarni
  • Stephen Lee
  • Sayan Mullick Chowdhury
  • Slah Khan
  • Sandeep K. Mallipattu
  • Kenneth R. Shroyer
  • William Moore
  • Balaji Sitharaman
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s41127-016-0001-2

Cite this article as:
Kanakia, S., Toussaint, J., Kukarni, P. et al. Graphene Technol (2016) 1: 17. doi:10.1007/s41127-016-0001-2


The etiology of renal insufficiency includes primary (e.g., polycystic kidney disease) or secondary (e.g., contrast media, diabetes) causes. The regulatory restrictions placed on the use of contrast agents (CAs) for noninvasive imaging modalities such as X-ray computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) affect the clinical management of these patients. With the goal to develop a next-generation CA for unfettered use for renal MRI, here we report, in a rodent model of chronic kidney disease, the preclinical safety and efficacy of a novel nanoparticle CA comprised of manganese (Mn2+) ions-intercalated graphene coated with dextran (hereafter called Mangradex). Nephrectomized rats received single or 5 times/week repeat (2 or 4 weeks) intravenous (IV) injections of Mangradex at two potential (low = 5 mg/kg, and high = 50 mg/kg) therapeutic doses. Histopathology results indicate that Mangradex does not elicit nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF)-like indicators or questionable effects on vital organs of rodents. MRI at 7 Tesla magnetic field was performed on these rats immediately after IV injections of Mangradex at one potential therapeutic dose (25 mg/kg, [Mn2+] = 60 nmoles/kg) for 90 min. The results indicated significant (>100 %) and sustained contrast enhancement in the kidney and renal artery at these low paramagnetic ion (Mn2+) concentration; 2 orders of magnitude lower than the paramagnetic ion concentration in a typical clinical dose of long-circulating Gd3+-based MRI CA gadofosveset trisodium. The results open avenues for further development of Mangradex as an MRI CA to diagnose and monitor abnormalities in renal anatomy and vasculature.


Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis Gadolinium Mangradex Chronic kidney disease Contrast agent Magnetic resonance imaging 

Supplementary material

41127_2016_1_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (676 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 675 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 23 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (XLSX 24 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (XLSX 13 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM5_ESM.xlsx (35 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (XLSX 34 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM6_ESM.jpg (1014 kb)
Supplementary material 6 (JPEG 1013 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM7_ESM.jpg (1 mb)
Supplementary material 7 (JPEG 1039 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM8_ESM.jpg (920 kb)
Supplementary material 8 (JPEG 920 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM9_ESM.jpg (1 mb)
Supplementary material 9 (JPEG 1049 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM10_ESM.jpg (1 mb)
Supplementary material 10 (JPEG 1060 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM11_ESM.jpg (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 11 (JPEG 1091 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM12_ESM.jpg (1 mb)
Supplementary material 12 (JPEG 1037 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM13_ESM.jpg (823 kb)
Supplementary material 13 (JPEG 822 kb)
41127_2016_1_MOESM14_ESM.jpg (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 14 (JPEG 1324 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
National Institutes of Health
  • 1R41DK100205-01A1
  • 2R44DK100205-02
Wallace H. Coulter Foundation

    Copyright information

    © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

    Authors and Affiliations

    1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
    2. 2.Center for Translational NeuroimagingNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
    3. 3.Division of Nephrology, Department of MedicineStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
    4. 4.Department of PathologyStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
    5. 5.Department of RadiologyStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

    Personalised recommendations