Institute for Biomedical Engineering
Our group develops non-invasive magnetic resonance and fluorescence imaging techniques in order to derive structural, functional and molecular information from small laboratory animals. Techniques are applied in areas of neuroscience, cancer biology, and metabolic diseases.
Noninvasive imaging has evolved from visualization of tissue anatomy using structural imaging approaches (x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) to a technology platform that comprises multiple imaging modalities and provides information on tissue morphology, tissue physiology, metabolic as well as cellular & molecular processes. None of the imaging technologies will be sufficient to cover all these applications. For instance MRI provides high spatial resolution, yet is limited with regard to sensitivity; PET and Optical imaging have rather complementary features: excellent sensitivity but limited spatial resolution. These three technologies are implemented in the AIC. The biological problem determines the optimal imaging method to be used.
We apply molecular imaging approaches to study gene expression or the function of gene products (pathway imaging) in a quantitative manner in the intact living organism. This involves enhancement of imaging techniques (improved sensitivity for MRI, optical tomography, tissue modeling for quantification) as well as the development of specific biological assays for monitoring the presence of a specific target or of a molecular interaction (e.g. protein-protein interaction). Assays use reporter genes such as luciferase, fluorescent proteins or MRI systems such as transferrin receptor. The ability to study molecular events non-invasively in the intact organisms, i.e. within their full biological context, will undoubtedly contribute to the understanding of the normal and diseased organism.
Dominietto M, Lehmann S, Keist R, Rudin M. Pattern analysis accounts for heterogeneity observed in MRI studies of tumor angiogenesis. Magn Reson Med. 2012 Dec 27. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24590. [Epub ahead of print]
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