Leif Schröder How Can Magnetic Resonance Imaging Be Improved for Early Disease Detection?
Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP)
The FMP conducts basic research in Molecular Pharmacology with the aim to identify novel bioactive molecules and to characterize their interactions with their biological targets in cells or organisms. These compounds are useful tools in basic biomedical research and may be further developed for the treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease.
To this aim FMP researchers study key biological processes and corresponding diseases, such as cancer, aging including osteoporosis, or neurodegeneration. They also develop and apply advanced technologies ranging from screening technologies over NMR based methods to proteomics and in vivo models. (Source: FMP)
Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology
The focus of research in the Haucke laboratory is the dissection of the molecular mechanisms of endocytosis and endolysosomal membrane dynamics and its role in cell signaling and neurotransmission. The laboratory uses a wide range of technologies that include biochemical and molecular biological approaches in vitro, chemical biology and screening technology, super-resolution and electron microscopy as well as genetic manipulations at the organismic level in vivo. The overarching goal of these studies is to provide a mechanistic understanding of exo-endocytosis and endolysosomal function and its regulation by proteins and lipids and to use this know-how to develop novel strategies for acute chemical and pharmacological interference. (Source)
The technique of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or short MRI, is a useful and widely used tool in clinical diagnostics. However, the current MRI techniques are not sensitive enough to detect low concentrations of drugs or disease related molecules. LEIF SCHRÖDER explains that MRI is typically based on the detection of water molecules. However, the high water concentration that is always present in the body creates a strong background signal obstructing the signal of dilute molecules so only substances at higher concentrations can be found. In the new approach presented in this video, the researchers used the noble gas Xenon, manipulated its magnetic properties and paired it with a contrast agent which senses specific molecules related to cancer. With this technique, they managed to visualize also molecules in very low concentrations as it is the case for early onset cancer. This approach can help to spot diseases at a very early stage or support drug development.
LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10327
Identification, Classification, and Signal Amplification Capabilities of High-turnover Gas Binding Hosts in Ultra-sensitive NMR
- Martin Kunth, Christopher Witte, Andreas Hennig and Leif Schröder
- Chemical Science
- Published in 2015