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Traditional MPI scanners utilize cylindrical bore geometry which prevents scaling up the scanner to accommodate human subject. Our single-sided MPI device utilizes a field-free line topology with a single drive coil and a surface receive coil that detects the response of nanoparticles. Common to all single-sided devices, however, excitation field results in saturation in the receive chain concealing the small SPIO response and impinging potential sensitivity gain. In this work we show how a surface gradiometer receive coil provides highest sensitivity to date and demonstrate a new detection limit in a single-sided scanner of 100 ng of iron.