Prof. Giuseppe Digilio
DiSIT - Department of Science and Technologic Innovation, Università del Piemonte Orientale "A. Avogadro" (Alessandria, Italy)
+39 0131 360371
Imaging labelled biomaterials for cell-therapy follow-up by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Cell therapy can be broadly defined as the transplantation of living cells for the treatment of a wide number of medical disorders. A critical issue to understand how therapy works is the lack of clinically compliant methods to follow-up the state of therapeutic cells on the long term after transplantation. This line of research aims at developing imaging labelled biomaterials to provide a shielding against immune rejection, and, at the same instance, to enable longitudinal monitoring of cell survival by MRI. Novel microenvironment-responsive contrast agents for MRI. The assessment of the extracellular microenvironment in solid tumors is of utmost importance to stratify patients and to personalize therapy. This line of research deals with the synthesis, characterization and validation of MRI contrast agents responsive to either extracellular pH, or redox potential, or the activity of matrix enzymes. Probes being developed can be based on relaxation agents (for T1w-MRI) or chemical exchange saturation transfer agents (for the CEST-MRI modality). Methods to obtain parametric images are also considered as a research theme.