Diagnosis and therapy of inflammatory diseases using molecular ultrasound imaging

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students
Department
Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
Location
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Xiaowei Wang xiaoweiw@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Karlheinz Peter karlheinz.peter@unimelb.edu.au

Summary With steadily increasing health care expenses, a promising translational imaging application using ultrasound can fulfil the need for a cost-effective and non-invasive diagnostic tool. This project aims to investigate whether VCAM-1 targeted microbubbles will enhance inflamed vessels using molecular ultrasound imaging, thereby providing a better diagnostic technology.

Project Details

The use of small recombinant antibodies for diagnostic molecular ultrasound imaging and targeted drug delivery is well established in our lab. Ultrasound imaging offers significant advantages: it is already a well established clinical imaging technique and the equipment required is already available in most hospitals. It is non-invasive, cost effective, real-time and does not involve ionising irradiation. There is no known long-term side effect of ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound imaging is well suited for routine clinical application where frequent imaging is needed, such as broad screening programs for early disease detection. In addition, contrast enhanced ultrasound with bubbles has been successfully introduced into the clinic and there is a high probability that our targeted microbubble approach can be rapidly translated into clinical practice.
This project would focus on Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (VCAM-1), which is one of the endothelial surface molecules most strongly and specifically up-regulated in inflammation. For this reason, this molecule has been chosen as an additional target epitope for molecular imaging of inflammation. We propose to conjugate VCAM-1 targeting recombinant antibodies to ultrasound contrast agents for imaging via contrast enhanced ultrasound. We would use this recombinant antibody for diagnosis imaging and targeted delivery of pharmacological treatment.
Significance: With steadily increasing health care expenses, a promising translational imaging application using ultrasound can fulfill the need for a cost-effective and non-invasive diagnostic tool.
Aims: This project aims to investigate whether VCAM-1 targeted microbubbles will enhance inflamed vessels using molecular ultrasound imaging, thereby providing a better diagnostic technology.

School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Research Node

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

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