MARESUS – negative per-oral contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is nowadays one of the most powerful diagnostic tools in medicine and medical science. Lack of ionizing radiation, multi-planar imaging, static and dynamic imaging capabilities and superior soft tissue contrast make MRI a potentially ideal technique for the initial evaluation and follow-up of several bowel diseases (tumors, inflammatory bowel diseases) and for improvement of the quality in diagnoses of bowel adjacent tissues and organs. However, a good distension of the intestine is crucial. Therefore, the use of oral contrast agent is mandatory. Nowadays several per-oral contrast agents are commercially available but still not used routinely.


MARESUS, the technology developed by Palacký University in Olomouc, is composite consisting of 20 nm superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles incorporated in bentonite matrix , which is covered by polyethylenglycol (PEG) and mixed with standardly used compounds such as salts, concentrates, aroma, preservatives etc. This makes MARESUS nontoxic and biocompatible agent with high effective negative contrast in T2-weighted images. MARESUS contrast agent is highly recommended for use in MREg (MR enterography) and primarily in MRCP (Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography), which is often used for imaging of biliary tree. MARESUS is helpful for patients with advanced liver cirrhosis where ascites present diagnostic problems for MRCP mainly before liver transplantation and post operation.


Synthesis of MARESUS is highly reproducible, cost effective, enabling large scale production. Compared contrast effect with commercial Lumirem, which has been recently taken of the market, we suggest much cheaper production of the contrast agent. Moreover, we show potential application of MARESUS for diagnosis of extrahepatic biliary duct and extraluminal pathologies in patients with Ascites which has never been observed before. We proved a new protocol for usage of our contrast agent in pre-operative and also post-transplantation diagnosis of liver.


MARESUS technology was tested on 3 groups of patients. Ready to enter the registration phase.


Polakova K, Mocikova I, Purova D, et al.; Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) using new negative per-oral contrast agent based on superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for extrahepatic biliary duct visualization in liver cirrhosis, Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub. (2016), 160(4),512-517 Kluchova K, Zboril R, Tucek J, Pecova M et al.: Superparamagnetic maghemite nanoparticles from solid-state synthesis as peroral MRI contrast agent and carrier for trypsin immobilization, Biomaterials 30 (2009) 2855-2863




Palacký University Olomouc

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