Molecular NMR imaging
MRI has a lot to offer to biomedical research and healthcare. Unfortunately, however, the changes in MRI contrast that accompany disease often only occur in a late stage and can have multiple causes.
The emerging technology of molecular imaging aims to visualize specific molecular markers of disease. Our research on this topic focuses on the use of targeted MRI contrast agents to quantify the in vivo distribution of biological markers that are characteristic to a specific step in a disease process.
Another focus is the optimization of the MRI pulse sequences in terms of contrast-to-noise ratio they achieve and quantification of the local contrast agent concentration. The tools that are developed are evaluated in vitro with the use of cultured cells and in vivo in mouse models.