TAMIRUTProject reference: 16382
Funded under: FP6-NMP
A new bio-sensor concept for medical diagnosis: targeted micro-bubbles and remote ultrasound transduction
Total cost:EUR 3 957 709
EU contribution:EUR 2 170 000
Call for proposal:FP6-2004-IST-NMP-2
Funding scheme:STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
The overall objective of TAMIRUT is to develop an innovative bio-sensor concept devoted to advanced medical diagnosis, in which the biological material is carried by targeted micro-bubbles injected inside the body and the transducer is remote. The remote transducer operates on the basis of the ultrasound response of such micro-bubbles, gathered and processed by an improved version of an ultrasound medical scanner (UMS). Targeted micro-bubbles (similar to the generic micro-bubbles composing the contrast agents actually used in medical echography) are designed to bind only to a desired target region: a bio-conjugate ligand is attached to micro-bubble shells producing the adhesion of them to specific molecular signatures.
The project goal is to exploit targeted micro-bubbles as bio-sensors producing measurements that will significantly complement the ultrasound molecular imaging and improve the medical diagnosis potential. Among many potential medical applications, the case study that will be addressed in the TAMIRUT project concerns the early detection, the assessment of the micro-vessel density, and the correct staging and grading of the prostate cancer. Such tasks will be dramatically improved by developing appropriate targeted micro-bubbles (i.e. bubbles able to bind on the endothelium of the neo-vessels of such a cancer) and measuring their local concentrations by means of the novel bio-sensor.
In addition, the repetition over time of such a measurement could help in assessing the disease evolution, especially regarding the angiogenesis aspects. The main objective of this project will be pursued by a multidisciplinary, strictly joint development of all the bio-sensor components, taking into account the need to remotely interrogate targeted micro-bubbles. In turn, micro-bubbles and bioconjugate ligands will be refined and tuned taking into account the desires of the medical community in relation to the introduction of new bio-sensor and addressed case study.