Molecular Imaging group



Dr. Dorde Komljenovic
Medical Physics in Radiology
Molecular Imaging

Tel: +49 (0)6221 42 2686
Fax: +49 (0)6221 42 2595
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Imaging tumors on the morphologic, functional and molecular level gives new insight into the pathophysiological processes of cancer. In order to visualize such processes, imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), optical imaging, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) can be used. The aim of the Molecular Imaging group is to develop non-invasive imaging strategies for assessment of structures in high resolution, pathophysiologically relevant processes and molecular targets for cancer (compare Figure 1). For this purpose, biomedical imaging methods, contrast agents and radiotracers are refined and developed to supplement basic research in order to elucidate on the pathogenesis of tumor growth and in particular metastasis formation. Such knowledge has implications on early detection and monitoring treatment response as well as on the identification of novel treatment concepts for tumors.

Specific aims

  • Optimization of morphologic and functional imaging techniques from MRI (including ultra-high field MRI) and PET to assess pathophysiologically relevant processes in bone and tumors
  • Assessment of multi-modal treatment response by MRI, US, CT and PET in experimental bone metastases
  • Development of novel radiotracers and contrast agents for specific cancer targets 
  • Imaging of molecular structures in metastases for early detection and follow-up using MRI, PET and SPECT
  • Development of automated procedures for quantification of malignant bone disease using multi-modal imaging data
  • Determination of micro-mechanical and structural properties of bone

Figure 1: Multi-modal imaging on the morphological, functional and molecular level of experimental bone metastases in a rat. Center, 3D volumetric CT (VCT) reconstruction of a rat skeleton. Images 1-12 show different aspects of an experimental bone metastasis. 1, morphologic MR image; 2, exchange rate constant kep, dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI); 3, amplitude A, DCE-MRI; 4, mean vessel caliber, vessel size imaging (VSI); 5, blood volume, VSI; 6, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI); 7, morphologic US image; 8, peak enhancement, DCE-US; 9, standard uptake value (SUV), PET; 10, specific imaging of integrins, µPET; 11, morphologic VCT image; 12, angiography, VCT.

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