Functional bioimaging and tracer development


Advanced bioimaging is a central tool used to gain detailed information about drug delivery technologies and their biological performance, properties and interactions. The array of technologies available spans from small (electron and light microscopy) to larger length scales, including (i) computed tomography (CT), (ii) positron emission tomography (PET), (iii) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and (iv) fluorescence in vivo imaging systems (IVIS). One of the main imaging modalities of the group is PET, which is used to evaluate pharmacokinetic behavior and biodistribution of drug delivery technologies or exogenously modified immune cells.  Multiple radiolabeling methods based on novel nanomaterials has been developed to enable whole-body preclinical analysis of the drug delivery process and therapeutic response. For example, immune cells can be radiolabeled with high efficiency and tracked during the process of re-administration into the diseased subject. Radiolabeling methods have also been developed for tracing of liposomes, micelles, and various proteins (including antibodies) in small (mice and rats) and large (canines) animal models. Several advanced microscopy techniques are used in the group in connection with the development of drug delivery technologies. Spinning disk confocal and lattice light sheet microscopes are used to perform real-time imaging of drug or drug delivery system interaction with cells in culture, or to determine drug transport across cell culture models of e.g. the intestinal barrier and blood-brain barrier. Confocal microscopy is used in conjunction with optical clearing techniques to enable imaging of large 3D volumes of transparent tissue (especially brain), or for single molecule bleaching experiments that are used to perform direct quantification of therapeutic proteins, nanoparticles, or membrane receptors on cells. The activities within microscopy are closely connected to development of advanced image analysis methods, e.g. using on machine learning-based segmentation, which are used to obtain quantitative information about parameters like spatial distribution and coverage of drugs accumulation in diseased tissue or characteristics of the vascular network. Electron microscopy is used both for evaluating the ultrastructure of drug delivery systems as well as providing high resolution details of subcellular localization of drug delivery vehicles in tissues.

Contact

Jannik Larsen
Assistant Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 81 23

Contact

Paul Joseph Kempen
Associate Professor
DTU Nanolab