Medical Imaging and Physical Sciences
The department of 'Imaging and Physical Sciences' consists of the subunits Radiology and Clinical Imaging (RADI), 'Radiotherapy' (KANK), 'Nuclear Medicine' (NUGE). The main research topics for these three subunits are: For Radiology and Clinical Imaging: 1. Diffusion and perfusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and their application to the characterisation of healthy and pathologic tissues; 2. Susceptibility MR imaging of trabecular bone and its potential for osteoporosis screening; 3. Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS): digital management of diagnostic imaging. The Radiotherapy group develops research in the areas of: I) Tumour Radiobiology and hypoxic cell radio-sensitisation by the radical nitric oxide (NO). The main research topics are: 1. Intrinsic radio-sensitivity of human pancreatic tumour cells and radio-sensitising potency of the NO donor sodium nitroprusside; 2. Radio-sensitisation of hypoxic tumour cells by S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, a bioreductive NO donor; 3. Radio-sensitisation of hypoxic tumour cells by endogenously generated NO through the inducible enzyme nitric oxide synthase; 4. NO-mediated induction of apoptosis under chronic hypoxic conditions and tumour cell radio-sensitivity. II) High precision conformal radiotherapy 1. Stereotactic radiosurgery; 2. Intensity modulated radiotherapy; 3. Online correction of patient positioning. The main focus of research of the subunit Nuclear Medicine is the development, preclinical and clinical validation of new radiopharmaceuticals and image processing techniques for single photon emission tomography (SPECT). Specific topics include: 1. The use of new metabolic tracers, receptor binding radiopharmaceuticals and synthetic peptides in nuclear oncology; 2. Brain imaging of 5-HT2A receptors in relation to neuropsychiatric disorders; 3. Myocardial metabolic imaging with fatty acid analogues and its relation with myocardial perfusion studies; 4. Simultaneous measurement of myocardial perfusion and function by means of gated myocardial perfusion SPECT; 5. Pinhole tomography.