The HYPERDIAMOND project will develop and commercialise two platforms for hyperpolarized, MRI-based molecular imaging, by leveraging revolutionary progress in quantum- and nano-technology.
To achieve its global mission HYPERDIAMOND pursues the following scientific and technical objectives:
- Realisation of a diamond-based hyperpolarization system operating at room temperature (Diamond Hyperpolarizer), achieving >1,000-fold increase of signal in MRI magnetic fields over an unpolarised probe
- Developing the novel ND-probe as a targeted, multipurpose hyperpolarization platform
- Hyperpolarization duration of dozens of minutes to potentially over 1 hour for targeted, non-metabolic imaging
- Surface-functionalization to allow for attachment to a multitude of antibodies, peptides, and other proteins
- Multimodality with fluorescent imaging and as oncology drug carriers
- First proof-of-principle animal studies demonstrating:
- ND-probe – targeted tumour imaging of glioblastomas, inflammation imaging, cancer theranostic capabilities and synergies with fluorescent imaging
- Small molecules (polarized via the Diamond Hyperpolarizer) for 1) visualization of metabolism in viable tissue slices from healthy rodents – glucose, deoxyglucose, and choline molecular imaging probes and 2) visualization of pyruvic acid metabolism in breast cancer and glioma models in rodents.
- Evaluation of the new techniques in direct comparison with the current golden standards of:
- positron emission tomography (PET) for the ND-probes
- existing dissolution-DNP hyperpolarization systems (Hypersense) for the Diamond Hyperpolarizer
- Developing a fully functional prototype of the Diamond Hyperpolarizer – portable and low cost
- Preclinical assessing in vitro and in ovo the biocompatibility and acute toxicity of the optimized nanodiamond particles, as well as clearance mechanisms