Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death worldwide and the costs due to CVD are increasing. Early detection and correct treatment of CVD is therefore important and research on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) for imaging of myocardial viability, perfusion and contractility has been intensified. While these methods are already well developed and in use in clinical research and practice, data on metabolic changes associated with CVD are difficult to obtain in-vivo due to the low inherent sensitivity of CMR. With the advent of hyperpolarization methods, an opportunity for probing metabolism in the in-vivo heart with high resolution has emerged. The hyperpolarization is short-lived, however, and requires imaging with high scan efficiency during a short time window.
The objective of this research proposal is to develop in-vivo metabolic imaging by exploiting and furthering latest technology developed for CMR scan acceleration and carbon hyperpolarization at the University and ETH Zurich. Joint assessment of the interrelation of perfusion, metabolism and contractile function of the heart will be used to study occlusion and reperfusion in an animal model, triggered by the ongoing debate about the cause of reperfusion injury during treatment of CVD.
The applicant already has expertise in accelerated imaging for human applications based on research projects he carried out in Sweden and Japan. He is now seeking to add experience in animal imaging and metabolic spectroscopic imaging methods to his repertoire. By joining one of the world-leading institutions in CMR research he will efficiently contribute and profit from a cutting-edge research endeavor aimed at extending the diagnostic capabilities of CMR. Upon completion of the project the fellow is expected to have complemented his expertise to be able to become an independent researcher in academia or in the prominent European healthcare industry focusing on diagnostic imaging.
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