Material and Methods: MPI scans of FVB mice were performed using a 3D imaging sequence (1T/m gradient strength, 10mT drive-field strength). A dynamic scan with a temporal resolution of 21.5ms per 3D volume acquisition was performed. 50μl ferucarbotran (Resovist®, Bayer Healthcare AG) were injected into the tail vein after baseline MPI measurements. As MPI delivers no anatomic information, MRI scans at a 7T ClinScan (Bruker) were performed using a T2-weighted 2D TSE sequence. The reconstruction of the MPI data was performed on the MPI console (ParaVision 6.0/MPI, Bruker). Image fusion was done using additional image processing software (Imalytics, Philips). The dynamic information was extracted using custom software developed in the Julia programming environment.
Results: The combined MRI-MPI measurements were carried out successfully. MPI data clearly demonstrated the passage of the SPIO tracer through the inferior vena cava, the heart and finally the liver. By co-registration with MRI the anatomical regions were identified. Due to the volume frame rate of about 46 volumes per second a signal modulation with the frequency of the heart beat was detectable and a heart beat of 520 beats per minute (bpm) has been assumed. Moreover, the blood flow velocity of approximately 5cm/s in the vena cava has been estimated.
Conclusions: The high temporal resolution of MPI allows real-time imaging and bolus tracking of intravenous injected nanoparticles and offers a real time tool to assess blood flow velocity.