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Revealing drug tolerant persister cells in cancer using contrast enhanced optical coherence and photoacoustic tomography

Objective

Cancer treatment faces a major problem: it ultimately stops working for many patients because the tumor becomes resistant. The cellular origin of relapse is often linked to drug tolerant persister (DTP) cells, which survive treatment and can remain for years. Because of their scarcity and heterogeneity, the detection of DTP cells remains a technological challenge of enormous clinical importance. The objective of REAP is to develop two next generation multimodal imaging systems to reveal DTPs. A triple modal two-photon laser scanning optical coherence photoacoustic microscopy system will be built for the in vitro characterization of cancer organoids. Additionally, a dual-modality optical coherence photoacoustic tomography system will be implemented to visualize tumors in vivo in a mouse model. To enable greatly increased sensitivity and specificity, a new type of contrast agent based on biofunctionalized nanoparticles with tailor-made optical properties will be fabricated to specifically label DTPs. For improved imaging performance, several further technological advancements are targeted. Photoacoustic excitation will be realized using innovative microchip lasers addressing the needs for high-energy pulses, high-repetition rate, and multi-wavelength emission. To achieve the required resolution, novel photoacoustic detectors based on integrated optical micro-ring resonator technology will be developed with the potential to completely replace conventional piezoelectric ultrasound transducers. Furthermore, image acquisition speed will be increased by an order of magnitude with the help of an innovative laser source based on photonic integrated circuits at 780 nm. Finally, real-time data handling will be explored along with deep learning-based automatic analysis algorithms. The combined innovation in laser sources, detector technology, nanoparticles, and deep learning-based algorithms will create radically new imaging solutions reaching numerous applications.

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2020-2
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

MEDIZINISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN
Address
Spitalgasse 23
1090 Wien
Austria
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 431 276,25

Participants (8)

AIT AUSTRIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY GMBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 1 117 983,75
Address
Giefinggasse 4
1210 Wien
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 453 903,75
Address
Colexio De San Xerome Praza Do Obradoiro S/n
15782 Santiago De Compostela
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
PICOPHOTONICS Oy
Finland
EU contribution
€ 650 362,50
Address
Huringinkatu 1 A 13
33800 Tampere
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
TAMPEREEN KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR
Finland
EU contribution
€ 379 797,50
Address
Kalevantie 4
33100 Tampere
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
POLITECNICO DI TORINO
Italy
EU contribution
€ 480 151,25
Address
Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
10129 Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INNOLAS LASER GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 465 000
Address
Justus Von Liebig Ring 8
82152 Krailling
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
LAVISION BIOTEC GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 670 003,75
Address
Astastrasse 14
33617 Bielefeld
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
LIONIX INTERNATIONAL BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 537 500
Address
Hengelosestraat 500
7521 AN Enschede
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)