An international consortium receives 5,4 milion euro for the programm ‘Licht voor beter zicht op ziekten’. The research is being lead by professor Biofotonica Johannes de Boer of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and will be conducted in the UMCG and the Amsterdam UMC Imaging Center.
The grant comes from the Perspectief program of the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO).
PET scans based on radioactivity, image deviant tissue such as inflammations and tumours. By using light instead of radioactivity, images ten to one hundred times sharper can be produced, which means a cluster of just a few cells can be seen. The MEDPHOT programme wants to develop a light-based counterpart of a PET scan. The researchers will develop fluorescent markers for diseases, such as oesophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, asthma and Alzheimer's disease. These markers will bind to the molecules that are specific for the disease concerned and will light up if they are illuminated by a light source.
In order to see the markers, the researchers will develop the technology needed to detect the small light beams emitted. With this approach they will make the cells sought visible.
The consortium is built by four universities (VU, UvA, UU, TU Delft) and TNO, three academic hospitals (Amsterdam UMC, UMC Groningen, Leiden UMC) and twelve (inter)national companies (ASML, CHDR, Dispertech, Elesta, Exometry, GlycanScan, Mauna Kea, Ninepoint Medical, Optos, Percuros, Spectradyne and Thorlabs).