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Contrast by Quadrupole Enhanced Relaxation

Objective

The ageing society and demographic change is one of the major challenges which Europe is facing now, and even more so in the future. Mastering this challenge requires radically new diagnostic and therapeutic treatments as key factors in achieving the healthy well-being of European citizens. Molecular imaging (MI) plays a pivotal role in diagnosis, understanding of disease and in the development of effective treatments.
CONQUER will explore a fundamentally new contrast mechanism with the potential to push magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) far beyond its limits towards a powerful MI modality. This will be achieved by exploiting the cross relaxation between 1H and large quadrupolar nuclei (QN) for contrast agent (CA) design. The main objective is to synthesize bio-compatible QN compounds and nano-particles (NPs), high efficiency and manifold degrees of freedom in the design of smart properties, such as the ability to switch the contrast on and off by changing the magnetic field or chemical binding (e.g. targeting). The NPs will be tailored based on quantum-mechanical simulations. Sensitivity and contrast switching will be demonstrated with MRI in cell cultures. This highly interdisciplinary project combines expertise in quantum physics, chemical and biomedical engineering, material characterisation as well as nanotoxicology.
Today, European scientists and companies are already leading global players in CA development. CONQUER will significantly fertilise this field and lay the scientific foundations for a new technology by providing theoretical groundwork, synthesis guidelines, imaging instrumentation and toxicological references. These results will be actively transferred to academia and industry as well in order to strengthen European competitiveness. The combination of a so far unexploited quantum-mechanical phenomenon and cutting-edge imaging technologies has the potential to create MI solutions with significant impact.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2014-2015-RIA
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Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET GRAZ
Address
Rechbauerstrasse 12
8010 Graz
Austria
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 231 250

Participants (4)

UNIWERSYTET WARMINSKO MAZURSKI W OLSZTYNIE
Poland
EU contribution
€ 472 500
Address
Ul. Oczapowskiego 2
10 719 Olsztyn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERZA V MARIBORU
Slovenia
EU contribution
€ 584 125
Address
Slomskov Trg 15
2000 Maribor
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UMEA UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 83 750
Address
Universitetomradet
901 87 Umea
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
MEDIZINISCHE UNIVERSITAT GRAZ
Austria
EU contribution
€ 92 350
Address
Auenbruggerplatz 2
8036 Graz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments