In Vivo Imaging of Beta cell Receptors by Applied .. (VIBRANT)
In Vivo Imaging of Beta cell Receptors by Applied Nano Technology
Start date: Jul 1, 2009,
End date: Jun 30, 2013
Currently, around 30 million people in the enlarged Europe suffer from diabetes, with a prevalence of 7.5% in member states. In recent years the emergence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is a new and serious health challenge to the youth of Europe, their families and society. By 2025, the number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to around 50 million in Europe, thus increasing prevalence to 10.9%. This devastating disease is ranked among the leading causes of fatal cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, neuropathy, lower limb amputation and blindness. Estimates of annual direct cost of diabetes care in Europe are currently EUR 50 billion. The indirect costs of diabetes i.e. the cost of lost production are as high as direct costs or even higher. Diabetes results from an absolute or relative decline in pancreatic β-cell function and/or mass. Although of ultimate importance for diabetes management and the development of new therapies, hitherto, no clinically established methodology for non-invasive in vivo imaging and quantification of β-cell mass (BCM) exists. VIBRANT proposes superparamagnetic fluorous phase nanocontainers (FPNC), which are functionalized with β-cell specific ligands for in vivo MRI. This combines β-cell specific targeting with the unrivalled MRI sensitivity of supermagnetic particles and the high resolution power of 19F-containing contrast agents, and hence will outperform existing MRI technology. Furthermore, target specific drug-loaded nanocontainers will offer high potential for β-cell directed therapies. VIBRANT will offer theranostic solutions to the utmost urgent problems in the health care management of diabetes, substantially improving the early diagnosis, thus preventing distressful and costly complications, contributing to the development of new therapies for the regeneration of β-cell mass, and thus directly impacting health status and life quality of patients, health care budgets and economies within the EU.
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