We develop non-invasive diagnostic tools based on magnetic imaging techniques to diagnose gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. For this, we capitalize on scalable and reproducible flame engineering to tailor the properties of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) and achieve functionalities beyond their current use in the clinic. Ligands for disease biomarkers are identified in pre-clinical disease models as well as patient biopsies by global proteomics to ensure targeted delivery of the diagnostic SPION. The targeted, magnetic biosensors are then used to non-invasively monitor disease activity in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic particle imaging (MPI). We also aim to provide fundamental insight into physicochemical properties that govern the targeted use of nanomaterials in the gastrointestinal tract.
In our ERC-funded project MAGNETO, we focus specifically on pediatric inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an incurable, inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) that affects millions of patients worldwide and places an enormous economic burden on society. Most alarmingly, children account for one quarter of all IBD cases with steadily increasing incidence. Current clinical practices for IBD diagnosis and therapy are demanding and ineffective in terms of treatment outcome, patient compliance and cost and by far not optimized for children. Thus, our long-term goal is to establish a clinically translational theranostic platform for diagnosis and personalized treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in children using our theranostic SPION. To achieve this, we closely collaborate with clinical gastroenterologists at Uppsala University Hospital.
Asad, S., C. Wegler, D. Ahl, C.A.S. Bergström, M. Phillipson, P. Artursson, and A. Teleki, “Proteomics-informed identification of luminal targets for in situ diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease,” J. Pharm. Sci., 110, 239 (2021).
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