The overall objective is the development of ultrasensitive bio-imaging techniques based on novel multifunctional nanoparticles (NPs) with tailored optical and magnetic properties for visualizing complex cellular structures, receptors, tumour cells and tissues. True innovation rests on the capability to combine the preparation of 'ad-hoc' NPs, having different properties and functions, with the development of advanced bio-imaging techniques. The expected improvements of labeling cells and cellular structures with tailored NPs are sensitivity, speed and specificity in the visualization of biological systems. We plan the development of stable colloidal solutions containing non-cyto-toxic, colloidally stable Si-based NPs properly functionalized on the surface in order to improve and tune their optical properties and increase their selectivity in specific biological targets. These NPs will be employed, in cooperation with two SMEs, for the development of optical bio-imaging techniques aiming at: (i) understanding how the genome instructs and orchestrates the functions of cells, organs and organisms; (ii) whole-cell labelling for cell or pathogen detection, cell tracking, cell sorting and cell lineage studies; (iii) optical imaging of tumour cells for early cancer diagnostics. A further task concerns the development of stable colloids of non-toxic, non-immunogenic NPs with: (i) high magnetization, so that NP can be moved in the blood and accumulated in the target organ, (ii) particle size small enough to remain in circulation after injection (iii) narrow size distribution for differential uptake of various tissues. The aim is the development of marketable, well tolerated, highly efficient, specific and economically viable contrast agents for the detection and characterization of complex tumour and/or inflammatory lesions in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, in collaboration with our industrial partner'.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/medical engineering/diagnostic imaging/magnetic resonance imaging
Call for proposal
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