Summary     Novel methods and technology platforms developed     Applications

Colposcopy         Endoscopy         Microscopy         Neurology         Imaging Technology in Art Preservation

We developed a novel hyperspectral camera and a continuously tunable light source and we have combined them in a regular microscope.

This workstation provides an excitation-emission matrix per image pixel! Combined with advanced spectral unmixing algorithms it stands as a powerful tool for the separate mapping of multiple staining fluorophores.

The system is currently used for assessing the metastatic potential of Circulating Tumor Cells in the context of the project: OncoSeed Diagnostics - Biology of Circulating Tumor Cells, Distant Metastasis & Development of Liquid Biopsy Methods.

We are partners in an €1.2 million project conducted by an outstanding consortium of academic and industrial institutions, combining the disciplines of clinical oncology, molecular biology, computer science, biophotonics, etc. The project aims at developing methods for detecting and assessing the metastatic potential of the so-called Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs).

In the last 5 years it has become increasingly evident that the CTC specific tumor cells with stem cell characteristics may be responsible for tumor development, dissemination and metastasis (Charafe-Jauffret et al., 2009) and that the physiological developmental process of the mesenchymal-to-epithelial-transition (EMT) may be a key step in CTC generation and metastasis (Kang and Massague, 2004). Thus, identifying and characterizing tumor cells present in the blood circulation is becoming the most promising field in understanding the metastatic process which may lead to improved cancer prognosis and treatment.

The role of my lab in this project is to develop advanced microscopy technologies for monitoring the uptake kinetics of multiple biomarkers simultaneously as a means for differentiating CTC cells on the basis of their metastatic potential. The Real Time Spectral Mapper, (RTSM) will be specially tailored for that purpose.

Subject to a successful completion, the deliverables of project will be a) new molecular CTCs markers for clinical diagnostics, b) a new equipment for CTC imaging diagnostics c) animal models for tumor development and evaluation of target therapies and d) identification of novel potential therapeutic targets.