Abstract: Imaging at high resolution and subsequent image analysis with modified mobile phones have the potential to solve problems related to microscopy-based diagnostics of parasitic infections in many endemic regions. Diagnostics using the computing power of “smartphones” is not restricted by limited expertise or limitations set by visual perception of a microscopist. Thus diagnostics currently almost exclusively dependent on recognition of morphological features of pathogenic organisms could be based on additional properties, such as motility characteristics recognizable by computer vision. Of special interest are infectious larval stages and “micro swimmers” of e.g., the schistosome life cycle, which infect the intermediate and definitive hosts, respectively. The ciliated miracidium, emerges from the excreted egg upon its contact with water. This means that for diagnostics, recognition of a swimming miracidium is equivalent to recognition of an egg. The motility pattern of miracidia could be defined by computer vision and used as a diagnostic criterion. To develop motility pattern-based diagnostics of schistosomiasis using simple imaging devices, we analyzed Paramecium as a model for the schistosome miracidium. As a model for invasive nematodes, such as strongyloids and filaria, we examined a different type of motility in the apathogenic nematode Turbatrix, the “vinegar eel.” The results of motion time and frequency analysis suggest that target motility may be expressed as specific spectrograms serving as “diagnostic fingerprints.”
Abstract: Angiogenesis is part of the healing process following an ischemic injury and is vital for the post-ischemic repair of the myocardium. Therefore, it is of particular interest to be able to noninvasively monitor angiogenesis. This might, not only permit risk stratification of patients following myocardial infarction, but could also facilitate development and improvement of new therapies directed towards stimulation of the angiogenic response. During angiogenesis endothelial cells must adhere to one another to form new microvessels. αvβ3 integrin has been found to be highly expressed in activated endothelial cells and has been identified as a critical modulator of angiogenesis. 68Ga-NODAGA-E[c(RGDyK)]2 (RGD) has recently been developed by us as an angiogenesis positron-emission-tomography (PET) ligand targeted towards αvβ3 integrin. In the present study, we induced myocardial infarction in Göttingen minipigs. Successful infarction was documented by 82Rubidium-dipyridamole stress PET and computed tomography. RGD uptake was demonstrated in the infarcted myocardium one week and one month after induction of infarction by RGD-PET. In conclusion, we demonstrated angiogenesis by noninvasive imaging using RGD-PET in minipigs hearts, which resemble human hearts. The perspectives are very intriguing and might permit the evaluation of new treatment strategies targeted towards increasing the angiogenetic response, e.g., stem-cell treatment.
Abstract: With the goal of recognizing outstanding contributions to the ﬁeld of medical diagnostics by early-career investigators, including assistant professors, postdoctoral students and PhD students, and assisting them in attending international conferences in 2016, early this year Diagnostics accepted nominations for the Junior Scientists Travel Award 2016.
Abstract: European and American guidelines recommend surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by performing ultrasonography on a six-month basis on an at risk population, defined by presence of cirrhosis. HCC, due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is rising. Patients with NASH have a high risk of developing HCC and, therefore, have to be enrolled in a screening program. One of the challenges with NASH-induced HCC is that half of the cases arise in non-cirrhotic patients. There is a need to identify those patients in order to screen them for HCC. The obesity of these patients is another challenge, it makes ultrasound screening more difficult. Other radiological methods, such as computer tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are available, but the surveillance program would no longer be cost-effective. There is a need to prospectively acquire information on cohorts of patients with NASH in order to improve the tools we have to diagnose early tumors in these patients.
Abstract: Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) generated with aging or in the presence of diabetes mellitus, particularly AGEs derived from the glucose/fructose metabolism intermediate glyceraldehyde (Glycer-AGEs; termed toxic AGEs (TAGE)), were recently shown to be closely involved in the onset/progression of diabetic vascular complications via the receptor for AGEs (RAGE). TAGE also contribute to various diseases, such as cardiovascular disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; cancer; Alzheimer’s disease, and; infertility. This suggests the necessity of minimizing the influence of the TAGE-RAGE axis in order to prevent the onset/progression of lifestyle-related diseases (LSRD) and establish therapeutic strategies. Changes in serum TAGE levels are closely associated with LSRD related to overeating, a lack of exercise, or excessive ingestion of sugars/dietary AGEs. We also showed that serum TAGE levels, but not those of hemoglobin A1c, glucose-derived AGEs, or Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine, have potential as a biomarker for predicting the progression of atherosclerosis and future cardiovascular events. We herein introduce the usefulness of serum TAGE levels as a biomarker for the prevention/early diagnosis of LSRD and the evaluation of the efficacy of treatments; we discuss whether dietary AGE/sugar intake restrictions reduce the generation/accumulation of TAGE, thereby preventing the onset/progression of LSRD.
Abstract: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is the most effective component of the modern multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) scan for prostate pathology. DWI provides the strongest prediction of cancer volume, and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) correlates moderately with Gleason grade. Notwithstanding the demonstrated cancer assessment value of DWI, the standard measurement and signal analysis methods are based on a model of water diffusion dynamics that is well known to be invalid in human tissue. This review describes the biophysical limitations of the DWI component of the current standard mpMRI protocol and the potential for significantly improved cancer assessment performance based on more sophisticated measurement and signal modeling techniques.