Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

2018 BESIP Project

Laboratory of Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research
Mentor Name: 
Murali Cherukuri, Ph.D.
Mentor Email: 
Mentor Telephone: 
(301) 451-6752
Computational Bioscience and Engineering Laboratory
Mentor Name: 
Randall Pursley
Thomas Pohida #3
Mentor Telephone: 
(301) 435-5067

Laboratory and Project Description

Development of an Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) In Vivo Imaging System

The EPR imaging technology enables in vivo functional and physiologic imaging in small animal models. This imaging capability uses non-toxic free radical probes to non-invasively interrogate tissue for oxygen concentration status. Anatomically co-registered quantitative maps of oxygen distribution in tumors should play a vital role in terms of prognostic value (e.g. hypoxia) as well as in developing appropriate tumor treatment strategies. Prior techniques which provide such information are either invasive or not quantitative.

The general goal of the time-domain EPR imaging project is to longitudinally monitor tumor oxygen status on a quantitative basis and to relate such information to anatomic images. The oxygen status data is then further evaluated in the context of tumor microvessel density obtained from imaging experiments and histochemical information at a microscopic level. EPR imaging with paramagnetic tracers provides the capability of obtaining quantitative tissue oxygen maps repeatedly over a period of several weeks on the same animal. This capability enables the monitoring of changes in tumor oxygen status in response to treatments such as chemotherapy, anti-angiogenic drug therapy, and radiotherapy. This monitoring data can be correlated with anatomical images and information pertaining to blood vessel density and blood flow.

A summer project will focus on developing a prototype digitally-based EPR imaging system.  Experiments will be conducted on phantoms with localized concentrations of free radical solutions.  The project will range from higher level system design planning down to signal acquisition and processing.

The BESIP student working on this project should have an interest in diagnostic imaging application and working with prototype bioinstrumentation. Working closely with the interdisciplinary team, the intern will gain valuable hands-on experience with multiple procedures and technologies including system design, RF electronics, signal acquisition, signal processing, and software development.

Cheurkuri lab: Ongoing projects in the laboratory are dedicated to developing small animal free radical imaging applications with the goal of larger clinical instruments for human applications.  Three separate imaging configurations are being develop and evaluated:
1.    Fourier transform EPR imaging (FT-EPR).
2.    Continuous-wave EPR imaging (CW-EPR).
3.    Overhauser-enhanced MRI imaging (OMRI)

Pursley group: Provides electrical, electronic, electro-optical, mechanical, computer, and software engineering expertise to NIH projects that require in-house technology development. Collaborations involve advanced signal transduction and data acquisition; real-time signal and image processing; control and monitoring systems (e.g., robotics and process automation); and rapid prototype development. Collaborations result in the design of first-of-a-kind biomedical/clinical research systems, instrumentation, and methodologies.