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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G061572/1
Title: New imaging methods for the detection of cancer biomarkers
Principal Investigator: Bayford, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Roitt, Professor IM Tizzard, Dr A Iles, Professor R
Butler, Dr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Science and Technology
Organisation: Middlesex University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2009 Ends: 31 July 2012 Value (£): 780,176
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Image & Vision Computing Medical science & disease
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
EP/G061629/1 EP/G061580/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Feb 2009 Nanotechnology Grand Challenges Healthcare Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose using Multi-frequency Electrical Impedance Tomography (MfEIT), a novel technique based on low level electrical measurements for imaging which will be enhanced by the introduction of gold nanoparticles. Importantly, the imaging technique is portable, non-invasive and based on non-ionizing radiation. Furthermore, whereas most current imaging systems are costly, MfEIT is inexpensive; thus a prototype system can be produced for 10,000, a figure which can be greatly reduced if manufactured at sufficient volume. The concept is based on the principle of combining the detection of biomarkers of malignancy with the innovative MfEIT imaging technology. This has the potential to not only help visualise the primary lesion, but greatly enhance the chance of early diagnosis and localisation of (micro) metastasis and/or early cancer spread. It can be achieved by targeting the nanoparticles to the tumour, for example by coupling antibody fragments specific for these cancer biomarkers. This not only renders such foci highly visible by MfEIT but also presents novel imaging-therapeutic modalities. Thus, our goal is to use MfEIT bio-imaging to localise tumours and by coupling metal nanoparticles not only to enhance imaging, but also to lay the foundation for the ultimate treatment of the tumour deposits. We will also develop complementary bio-imaging to other modalities so as to improve efficacy and avoid the use of imaging methods that use ionising radiation. The long term goal will be the development of safe, low-cost imaging and therapy methods that can be used also at small District Hospitals.The key aim is to develop a ground-breaking and clinically applicable nanotechnology MfEIT-based imaging method for diagnosis of colon cancer, as Proof of Principle, with a specificity and sensitivity that can match barium enema and colonoscopy. Having addressed the scientific and technological challenges of this novel imaging technique in stage one, we ultimately aim to exploit the binding properties of nanoparticles to cancer cells to develop therapeutic regimes to selectively destroy them.
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Organisation Website: http://www.mdx.ac.uk