Professors Songping Huang (PI) and Soumitra Basu (co-PI), both of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, have received a research grant from the National Cancer Institute at the NIH to develop a new generation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. The new MRI contrast agents will be derived from the nontoxic Prussian blue (PB) nanoparticles and promise to be superior to the current clinical MRI contrast agents that use the toxic-heavy metal gadolinium. These new MRI contrast agents have been shown to penetrate cells and may be useful for early detection of cancer at the cellular level. PB nanoparticles may also be used as non-viral vectors to carry small drug molecules into cells for drug delivery applications. The grant, entitled, "Prussian Blue Nanoparticles as Cellular T1 MRI Contrast Agents," will be funded at the level of ca. $654,000 over three years.