The Laboratory for Molecular Imaging is specialized in the development of new contrast agents for the specific identification of primary tumors and their metastasis, inflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Conventional contrast agents for MRI and CT (e.g. Gd-based contrast agents and iodine based contrast agents) are unspecific and show an accumulation in the interstitium of inflammatory and tumorous tissue.

Goal of the current work is the development of contrast agent conjugates that only show an uptake and accumulation in tumor cells. One current concept is the use of ligands of cell surface proteins such as Interleukin-6 or Syndecan-4. Further studies focus on the use of Fluorescein-labeled Bacitracin and Daptomycin conjugates as well as fluorescence imaging  of human cells with conjugates of the antifungal nystatin. Current projects study the use of curcuma-conjugates as specific contrast agents in oncology and neurodegenerative diseases.

Confocal laser scanning microscopy  and high-resolution  MRI are used to show the accumulation and uptake of the conjugates in cell culture and animal studies.

Head of Laboratory: Prof. Dr. Stefan Heckl