The overall study aims at cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The high mortality is mainly caused by coronary atherosclerosis and associated stroke. This emphasizes the need to improve early detection.
With this challnge in mind we will devise nanochemistry methods for hybrid nanocrystal cluster structures, where coupled physical responses of plasmonic and superparamagnetic nature will enable novel contrast agents (CAs) for biomedical imaging.
The work is part of collaborative research that combines the know-how of three groups within FORTH, working in cross-disciplinary fields (materials science, bioengineering and tissue engineering), aiming to develop a fully characterized new multimodal nanoscale particle assembly that will serve as contrast agent. The research effort is organized to facilitate a resource-sharing culture to tackle open questions that will increase sensitivity and specificity in the early detection of atherosclerotic lesions by exploiting photoacoustic (PAI) and magnetic (MRI) resonance imaging techniques.