Nanoparticles and Imaging Methods for MRI-Guided Stimuli-Responsive Theranostics

Tech ID: 29985 / UC Case 2017-846-0


UCLA researchers from the Department of Medicine have developed novel nanoparticle and imaging methods for the MRI-guided targeted delivery of therapeutic agents.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a widely used diagnostic imaging platform for both anatomical and functional imaging. MRI is increasingly being used in clinical practice to guide, control, and monitor thermal ablation of diseased tissues by non-invasive high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) or minimally invasive near-infrared (NIR) light inside the MRI scanner. However, MRI-guided delivery of targeted agents remains the subject of early stage exploration.


UCLA researchers have developed novel MRI-guided stimuli-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents. New developments in nanoparticle technology have been combined to deliver materials to specific sites of interest at a cellular level, enhance imaging contrast, and enable controlled release of encapsulated agents. With these engineered nanoparticles, MRI can now be used to spatially identify diseased tissue with enhanced dual contrast imaging, and then locally activate the release of therapeutic agents in a controlled signal-targeted manner.


  • Enhanced dual contrast imaging 
  • Precision delivery of therapeutic agents


  • Orders of magnitude greater contrast enhancement and detection performance 
  • Precise nanoparticle size uniformity and control 
  • High nanoparticle stability 
  • High agent uptake capacity 
  • Accurate on-demand activation of agent release

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
European Patent Office Published Application WO 2020/186268 09/17/2020 2017-846

Additional Patent Pending

Related Materials

  • Ambrogio MW, Thomas CR, Zhao YL, Zink JI, Stoddart JF. Mechanized silica nanoparticles: A new frontier in theranostic nanomedicine. Acc Chem Res 2011;44:903–13. doi:10.1021/ar200018x; PMID:21675720.
  • Li Z, Barnes JC, Bosoy A, Stoddart JF, Zink JI. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles in biomedical applications. Chem Soc Rev 2012;41:2590–605. doi:10.1039/C1CS15246G; PMID:22216418.


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


  • Zink, Jeffrey I.

Other Information


Theranostics, MRI, nanoparticles, drug delivery, high-intensity focused ultrasound, near-infared light, targeted-agent delivery, MRI-guided

Categorized As