Project details


The role of PET in the development of tools to tackle Ganglioside related diseases

PET imaging gangliosides

Prof. dr. P.H. Elsinga

Nature of the research:
Literature study

Fields of study:
cell biology pharmacology nuclear medicine

Background / introduction
Carbohydrates have long been considered to be either function as structural elements (i.e. cellulose and chitin) or as sources of energy (e.g. glycogen or starch). Recently, this view has been significantly broadened with the identification of saccharides as bioinformative molecules. This novel insight has opened a new research area of glycans, in which the term “glycan” refers to a poly-saccharide or oligo-saccharide often as part of a glycoconjugate, such as glycoprotein, glycolipid or a proteoglycan. The growing awareness of the role of glycans in the regulation of biological processes has led to the development of a new field of research, often referred to as “Glycomics”.
A second research innovation involves the use of PET as a non-invasive diagnostic technique. A promising development and major challenge is to apply PET in the field of glycomics. In this respect it is interesting to note that Elsinga and co-workers published a very elegant procedure to label complex glyco- proteins with 18-F and 11-C, respectively
Our final objective in this research project is to combine Glycomics and PET –technology.We will open new research areas in which Gangliosides as therapeutic as well as diagnostic tools will play a pivotal role. Gangliosides are involved in breast cancer and their crucial role in metastasis and in auto-immune diseases in general and of Guillain Barre and inflammation in the brain in particular.
Research question / problem definition
make a literature overview of ganglioside realted diseases and the possible application of Medical Imging to investigate these diseases
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