Leif Schröder How Can Magnetic Resonance Imaging Be Improved for Early Disease Detection?
Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (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)
Junior Research Group "Molecular Imaging"
"Our group works on the development of magnetic resonance detection techniques for novel targeted contrast agents. Xenon biosensors have an outstanding potential to increase the significance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in molecular imaging and to combine the advantages of MRI with the high sensitivity of hyperpolarized xenon and the specificity of a functionalized contrast agent. To explore this potential, the European Research Council (ERC) provided funding in terms of a Starting Grant from 2009 until 2014 (BiosensorImaging, GA No. 242710). " (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: http://dx.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