Fluorescence Molecular Imaging using Nanobodies

Research team:
  • Sophie Hernot, Bioengineer, PhD
  • Gezim Bala, MD

  • Research projects:

Within the field of molecular imaging, in vivo fluorescence imaging has emerged as new imaging modality due to the development of near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dyes along with technological advances. In clinical practice, NIRF imaging can be used as intraoperative or intravascular tool in e.g. oncology or cardiology, respectively. In the near future, further preclinical research regarding the development of new NIRF-molecular tracers is essential. Also, particular importance must be attached to the clinical translation of the investigated tracers.
Since nanobodies have already proven to be ideal candidates for molecular tracers, this project aims at developing an optimized strategy to design NIRF-nanobodies targeting relevant biomarkers to enable precise localization and characterization of diseases using fluorescence imaging. In oncology, we focus on the intraoperative delineation of cancer lesions to assure complete resection by the surgeon, while preserving healthy tissue. As one of the major challenges in cardiology is to distinguish high-risk patients with vulnerable plaques from those with stable atherosclerotic plaques, our goal is to apply intravascular fluorescence imaging to characterize atherosclerotic lesions.

These projects are performed in collaboration with

  • Department of Cardiology, UZ Brussel
Prof. Guy Van Camp, MD, PhD
Prof. Bernard Cosyns, MD, PhD
Dr. Stefan Carlier, MD, PhD
Dr. Steven Droogmans, MD, PhD
  • Laboratory for Micro- & Photonelectronics (LAMI), VUB
Prof. Maarten Kuijk, PhD
Hans Ingelberts, ir.
  • Department of Senology and Oncology Surgery, UZ Brussel
Prof. Dr. Jan Lamote
Dr. Marian Vanhoey

Funding: FWO Onderzoeksproject G09212N

Contact: Dr. Sophie Hernot
+32 2 477 49 91