Dr. Liu’s current research projects focus on the development and applications of a novel MRI technique, chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). His team is currently developing a variety of nanoparticle-based CEST imaging probes with low toxicity, high sensitivity and high specificity, and exploring the biomedical applications of these new imaging probes. In addition, the team is also interested in exploring the biomedical uses of endogenous CEST contrast; one of their ongoing projects examines the use of the endogenous CEST MRI signal of bacterial organisms to detect and monitor bacterial infection in rodent models.
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Bar-Shir A, Liu G, Greenberg MM, Bulte JW, Gilad AA. “Synthesis of a probe for monitoring HSV1-tk reporter gene expression using chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI.” Nat Protoc. 2013 Dec;8(12):2380-91. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2013.140. Epub 2013 Oct 31
Bar-Shir A, Liu G, Chan KW, Oskolkov N, Song X, Yadav NN, Walczak P, McMahon MT, van Zijl PC, Bulte JW, Gilad AA. “Human protamine-1 as an MRI reporter gene based on chemical exchange.” ACS Chem Biol. 2013 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print].
Liu G, Bettegowda C, Qiao Y, Staedtke V, Chan KW, Bai R, Li Y, Riggins GJ, Kinzler KW, Bulte JW, McMahon MT, Gilad AA, Vogelstein B, Zhou S, van Zijl PC. “Noninvasive imaging of infection after treatment with tumor-homing bacteria using Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) MRI.” Magn Reson Med. 2013 Dec;70(6):1690-8. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24955. Epub 2013 Oct 7
Bar-Shir A, Gilad AA, Chan KW, Liu G, van Zijl PC, Bulte JW, McMahon MT. “Metal ion sensing using ion chemical exchange saturation transfer 19F magnetic resonance imaging.” J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Aug 21;135(33):12164-7. doi: 10.1021/ja403542g. Epub 2013 Aug 6
Yang X, Song X, Li Y, Liu G, Ray Banerjee S, Pomper MG, McMahon MT. “Salicylic acid and analogues as diaCEST MRI contrast agents with highly shifted exchangeable proton frequencies.” Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2013 Jul 29;52(31):8116-9. doi: 10.1002/anie.201302764. Epub 2013 Jun 21. No abstract available