Supervisor: Professor Andrew Whittaker and Dr Changkui Fu

Despite the wide use of metal-based MRI contrast agents such as gadolinium chelates in the clinic, safety concerns have been raised regarding their potential toxic effects resulting from long-term in vivo retention.

This has driven the development of organic metal-free contrast agents in various forms for use in MRI. Fluoropolymers, polymers containing fluorine, are very promising candidates as organic metal-free MRI contrast agents. However, the clinical application of fluoropolymers as 19F MRI contrast agents has been greatly limited due to insufficient imaging sensitivity of current fluoropolymers. This project aims to boost the imaging sensitivity of 19F MRI by controlling the architecture of synthesised fluoropolymers. The project will highlight the important relationship between the architecture and properties of fluoropolymers, contributing to the development of advanced fluoropolymers as 19F MRI contrast agent with clinical potential.

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