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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y002423/1
Title: Mass spectrometry imaging of glycosaminoglycans in biological samples
Principal Investigator: Hook, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Uni Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf UKE University of Colorado Aurora University of Muenster (Munster)
Department: Sch of Pharmacy
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 March 2024 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 163,957
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 May 2023 ECR International Collaboration Grants Panel 3 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are chains of sugar molecules in our body that are a particularly important part of the space outside of cells. They have a number of roles including controlling how other molecules move about the body and, thus, underpin processes like virus invasion, cancer metasis, growth of tissues and organs, and the transport of nutrients from the blood supply to the rest of the body. To understand these processes researchers need tools to study GAGs, but there is currently limited tools such that reveal only a small aspect of the complex nature of these molecules. This project will use mass spectrometry imaging to simultaneously capture 1000's of different measurements that provide a full structural characterisation of GAGs. This will revolutionise the visualisation of GAGs in the same way increasing the number of colour shades in a photograph from 3 to 1000 reveals the differences and complexities that are not otherwise visible. Consider a field full of different flowers. If the field was only photographed using 3 colour shades many flowers would appear the same that were in fact different colours, and other flowers might appear of a single tone when seen with the 3 colour limit, but with 1000 colours could be seen as having mulitple tones. In the same way, differences in GAG structure currently not visible to researchers because of the limited tools available to assess the differences spatially will be made apparent by developing mass spectrometry imaging tools.

To develop an approach applicable to many national and international reseachers the project partners with three international collaborators each with different samples that have varied technical demands. Each sample set will be optimised to demonstrate the utility of the approach. These collaborations enable the analysis approach developed in this project to obtain new insights in the areas of sepsis, morphogenesis (the way that new organs form) and cancer metastasis.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk