Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

MOLECULAR IMAGING — Result In Brief

Project ID: 503259
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Greece

Improved imaging for living organisms

Imaging constitutes an indispensable tool for analysing biological processes.Through a unique consortium of engineers, biologists and chemists, the Molecular Imaging project focused on advancing existing molecular imaging techniques with potential new applications.
Improved imaging for living organisms
Through fluorescent labelling of proteins or nucleic acids and subsequent microscopy or tomography imaging, scientists have the ability to visualise the fate and complex interactions of target molecules. However, growing demands for unveiling biological processes necessitate the development of novel more sensitive imaging techniques for looking inside the body with greater specificity and accuracy.

To this end, the EU-funded ‘Integrated technologies for in-vivo molecular imaging’ (Molecular Imaging) project was designed to generate advanced technology for non-invasive imaging of bio-molecular function in living systems. More specifically, project members focused on developing new biosensors for increasing functional contrast and improving the resolution of current microscopy and tomography imaging systems.

A new tool for in vivo labelling and imaging was developed based on the use of improved fluorescent proteins of different colours, others that were activated by light and fluorescent protein-based intracellular sensors. These probes exhibited a wide range of applicability and had the potential to address fundamental problems in cell and molecular biology.

The Molecular Imaging system was used to image angiogenesis in hypoxic areas of tumours and monitor the fluctuations of oxygen levels associated with such regions. This method was also used for immunological studies to obtain a picture of how T lymphocytes enter peripheral lymphoid organs during early development.

Central to the success of the project was the development of automated software for fluorescence microscopy image acquisition and analysis, providing an invaluable, user friendly tool for capturing and analysing images.

It is expected that the Molecular Imaging technology will provide new opportunities for performing functional and molecular analyses in cells and animal models. Coupled with the prospective of being used to detect cancer, the deliverables of the Molecular Imaging project hold great commercial exploitation potential.

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