Prof. Robert N. MULLER, UMONS
Robert N. Muller was born in 1948 and studied at the University of Mons-Hainaut (UMH), Belgium, from which he was graduated with a Lic. Sci. Degree in chemistry in 1969. He obtained his PhD in 1974 from the same University where he was successively appointed Assistant, Lecturer and full Professor. He is currently head of the Department of General, Organic and Biomedical Chemistry and, since October 2005, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Mons. He did post-doctoral studies in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Paul C. Lauterbur’s* research group at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1981-82, collaborated with Drs Seymour Koenig in the domain of fast field cycling relaxometry and was on a sabbatical leave at the Center for Magnetic Resonance (CERM), Florence, Italy with Professors Ivano Bertini and Claudio Luchinat in 2002-2003. Co-founder of the European Workshop on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in Medicine; Vice-Chairman of the European Magnetic Resonance Forum Foundation, 1991-present; President of the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology, 1987-1988; President of the GRAMM (Groupe de Recherche sur les Applications du Magnétisme en Médecine), 1998-2000; Vice-Chairman of the COST D18 Action, 2003; Founding member of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (ESMI); Editor in chief of the new journal Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging (Wiley) and Member of the editorial boards of Magnetic Resonance Materials MAGMA (Springer) and Investigative Radiology (Lipincott). He has produced around 200 publications and contributed to 6 books mainly in NMR relaxometry, spectroscopy and imaging in the context of the development and applications of contrast agents for Molecular Imaging. Relevant awards: Outstanding teacher award of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine ISMRM (2005) Outstanding teacher award of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine ISMRM (2007) Contrast Media Research Award (2009)
Fellow of the European Society for magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (2010)
*2003 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology
Dr Sébastien BOUTRY, Ph. D.
Sébastien Boutry was born in 1978 and studied at the University of Mons (UMons) from which he graduated with a M.Sc. Degree (Biology) in 2001. He became a researcher in the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and molecular imaging laboratory of Prof. Robert N. Muller (UMons). Using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique as a tool for biological studies, he first focused on MRI contrast agents (gadolinium-based as well as iron oxide-based) specific for molecular markers of inflammation, developed in the laboratory (six papers were published). He obtained his Ph.D. in Biology in 2007. During his thesis, he performed and published several studies on the magnetic labelling of cells with iron oxide-based nanoparticular MRI contrast agents. He also attempted to use specifically vectorized nanoparticles as tools for the tracing of brain neurons in the context of an Interuniversity Attraction Poles program. This specific cellular targeting aspect was also approached in a work he started as a “FNRS – Télévie” scientific collaborator in 2006, aiming at the development of a specifically targeted contrast agent which might allow for the MRI monitoring of the efficiency of pro-apoptotic drugs used for anti-cancer therapies. In 2008, he became a research collaborator in the Center for Microscopy and Molecular Imaging (CMMI). He is developing biological applications of NMR (MRI and MR spectroscopy), but also other techniques of molecular imaging such as optical imaging and nuclear medicine.
Mathieu ROCH, B. Electr.
Mathieu Roch was born in 1983. He studied at the “Roi Baudoin” High School (Mons) from which he graduated with a B.Sc. Degree (Electronics) in 2004. For 4 years, he worked in the electronic development of traffic radars for the Belgian society SIRIEN. In 2009, he joined the Center for Microscopy and Molecular Imaging (CMMI) as a technical collaborator responsible for the maintenance of NMR equipments and for the running of MRI and optical imaging experiments.
Lionel LARBANOIX, Dr Sc
Lionel Larbanoix: born in August, 1982 in Uccle (Belgium), he obtained his Master degree in biology in 2005 from the University of Mons, Belgium. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences in 2010 from the same university. His Ph.D. thesis was focused on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of Alzheimer’s disease. He screened peptide libraries by using the phage display technology in order to find specific ligands of amyloid deposits. These ligands were then grafted on MR contrast agents to allow in vivo visualisation of amyloid plaques (results published in Neurobiology of Aging in 2008). He worked for two years in the DIAPATH unit within The Center for Microscopy and Molecular Imaging (CMMI). His activity was focused on the development of immunohistochemistry protocols and on the identification, characterization and validation of protein biomarkers. He is now a collaborator in the MRI and Optical Imaging units within the CMMI. His activity is focused on the development of biological applications of optical imaging and MRI.
- Photon Imager (Biospace Lab, France)
- A bimodal system (luminophore and paramagnetic contrastophore) derived from Ln(III) complexes based on a bipyridine-containing macrocyclic ligand, I.Nasso, C. Galaup, F. Havas, P. Tisnes, C. Picard, S. Laurent, L. Vander Elst, R.N. Muller, Inorg. Chem., 44(23):8293-8305 (2005)
- A dual lanthanide probe suitable for optical (Tb3+ luminescence) and magnetic resonance imaging (Gd3+ relaxometry), N. Geum, I. Nasso, B. Mestre, P. Tisnès, C. Picard, S. Laurent, R.N. Muller, L. Vander Elst, Bioorg.Med.Chem.Lett.,16, 5309-5312 (2006)
- In vitro characterization of the Gd complex of [2,6-pyridinediylbis(methylene nitrilo)] tetraacetic acid (PMN-tetraacetic acid) and of its Eu analogue, suitable bimodal contrast agents for MRI and optical imaging, S. Laurent, L. Vander Elst, C. Galaup, R.N. Muller, C. Picard, Bioorg Med Chem Lett., 17(22), 6230-6233 (2007)
- Fluorescence and bioluminescence 2D imaging, mainly on mice, using a PhotonImager from Biospace Lab.
- Optical imaging requires injection of a fluorescent tracer or a luminescent substrate. This method is suitable for molecular and functionnal applications of imaging. However, the tissue penetration depth of light is limited to a few millimeters.
- Isoflurane anesthesia is avaible. Imaging of awake animals is nevertheless possible.
- Up to 5 mice can be anesthetized and imaged in the same time, lying on a table that can be heated for maintaining animal body temperature.
- Other types of samples or organisms can be analyzed.
The optical imaging technique allows the detection of fluorescence and bioluminescence in small animals (rats or mice).
Bioluminescence occurs naturally only in a few animal species (e.g. fireflies, marine polyps) and depends on an enzymatic process. In brief, the oxidation of luciferin (from the firefly) or coelenterazine (from the sea pansy) is catalyzed by luciferase enzymes and results in the emission of light. To perform bioluminescence studies on mammalian cells, it is necessary to genetically modify them so that they produce luciferase. For example, bioluminescence imaging allows studying tumour invasion and anti-tumour treatments, as well as monitoring stem cell migration (see figure).
In order to perform fluorescence-based studies, probes targeting specific areas or molecules of interest (e.g. cell surface receptors that are overexpressed in pathological situations) must be administered. The research on new specific reporters is conducted in
collaboration with the Department of General, Organic and Biomedical Chemistry of the University of Mons (http://portail.umons.ac.be/fr/universite/facultes/fmp/services/service1/pages/default.aspx).
See the video: http://www.eyecone.com/clients/LabInsight/ULB-IRM-IO/
See the poster: POSTER_CMMI_-_Optical_Imaging.pdf