Biomolecular Ultrasound Imaging
Themes: Life Science & Health, Software technology and Intelligent Systems
A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.
Unlike light, sound waves are able to travel much deeper into opaque biological tissues and can inspect virtually any organ of the human body such as the heart. Inspired by optical microscopy and exploiting the penetrating quality of sound, the researcher aims to develop a new form of in vivo microscopy. On the one hand this research brings together new techniques of using ultrasound to image nanoparticles in 4 dimensions (space and time). On the other hand, the research aims to develop genetically encoded acoustic biomolecules that can be engineered as biosensors to respond to changes in their environment. Using sound waves, Dr. Maresca wants to be able to ”spy” on biological processes occurring within organs at the moleculair level. One of the main challenges for this project is to engineer biomolecular contrast agents that react to sound waves conditionally, similar to what GFP based reporters are enabling for optical imaging.
The research wants to push the boundary of ultrasound imagery!