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Disruptive fluorescent technologies for inflammatory bowel diseases

Project description

Novel diagnostic tools for inflammatory bowel diseases

Nearly three million people in Europe alone suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), a group of conditions associated with inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Colonoscopy remains the gold standard method for the diagnosis and monitoring of these disorders. The EU-funded IBDIMAGE project aims to deliver a reagent toolbox that can measure in real time the activity of immune cells, which is an important indicator of IBD state. These reagents were developed during the ERC DYNAFLUORS project and constitute optimal imaging tools for a more accurate and personalised therapeutic approach for IBD patients. Moreover, they have the potential to lead to novel point-of-care diagnostics for IBD.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic immune-mediated disorders causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which affect around 3 million patients in the EU. Current monitoring of IBD is mainly performed in the form of colonoscopies, biopsies or tests which are invasive or cannot specifically report on IBD activity. There is a need for new technologies that can rapidly measure activity biomarkers of IBD and enable the monitoring of disease progression and response to therapy accurately. This unmet patient need is what drives the development of this ERC PoC project.

The ERC CoG DYNAFLUORS (Dynamic Activatable Fluorophores) project was funded to develop the first chemical toolbox for imaging the activity of immune cells in real time. In IBD, the activity of immune cells are important indicators of the disease state and can be used to assess how patients respond to therapy. DYNAFLUORS measure real-time immune cell activity; hence they are optimal tools to monitor disease progression in IBD patients facilitating a more accurate and personalised therapeutic approach. Based on our promising results in the ERC CoG, we aim to develop DYNAFLUORS into a new fluorescent technology for imaging IBD activity which will lead to: 1) new tools for IBD research and drug discovery in collaboration with companies covering the global fluorescent reagent market as well as Pharma, and 2) point-of-care technologies for clinical diagnostics in IBD patients.

Funding from the ERC PoC will allow us to commercialise fluorescent reagents for research, in vitro diagnostics and drug discovery as well as to establish the foundations for new translational technologies to measure IBD activity in patients. This project will be guided by input from existing and new industrial and clinical partners and will create numerous opportunities for accelerating the research, diagnosis and treatment of IBD.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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Scotland Eastern Scotland Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)