Chemistry

The chemistry group is focusing on the design and synthesis of novel multimodal contrast agent conjugates for targeted tumor detection. Applying synthetic organic chemistry, we aim to combine the contrast agent properties for different imaging modalities (MRI, CT, PET, OI, PAI) in one molecule. Additionally, a ligand as well as a therapeutic component will generate a targeted multimodal theranostic agent. With such conjugates we want to gain morphological and functional information of tumors and metastases by means of non-invasive imaging methods. This concept will contribute to the further development of personalized medicine.

Multimodal imaging

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We are combining the capabilities of multiple imaging modalities to deliver complementary imaging information for medical and biological research.


Modalities:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Ultrasound/photoacoustic imaging (PAI): Photoacoustic imaging is a hybrid imaging modality based on the irradiation of the tissue of interest with pulsed (nanosecond) lasers, and consequent acquisition of pressure waves generated using an ultrasonic transducer array.


Biological and computational imaging:

  • Quantification of tumor growth and proliferation using MRI, US and fluorescence/bioluminescence imaging.
  • Quantitative study of the microvasculature in preclinical tumor models and characterization of the tumor perfusion profiles using dynamic contrast enhanced MRI, non-linear contrast ultrasound and real-time photoacoustic measurement.
  • Characterization of oxygen saturation profiles and identification of neovascularization using multispectral photoacoustic imaging.
  • Computational image analysis of the in vivo imaging data, and the use of cross-modality visual information for image quality enhancement.
  • Validation of imaging results - correlation with histology/immunohistochemistry.

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