Università Degli Studi Di Torino, Torino, Italy

Group Description

Brief description of legal entity
At the Department of Chemistry IFM of the University of Tours (UniTo) there is a longstanding and internationally acknowledged experience in the field of design, synthesis, and in vitro and in vivo preclinical validation of MRI agents. Since 1986, there have been activities addressed to the development of MRI paramagnetic contrast agents. In 2001, the collaboration between chemists, biologists and physicians has led to the foundation of the Centre for Molecular Imaging (CIM) of the University of Torino (coordinated by S. Aime). The Centre has been approved and supported by the Ministry of S&T and the University and coordinates several lines of activities. In 2007, the CEntre for Preclinical Imaging (CEIP, coordinated by E. Terreno) of the University of Torino has been settled, thanks to the support of regional government, in the BioIndustry technological Park of Canavese with the primary mission to foster the collaboration between academy and industrial research in biomedical imaging at preclinical level. CEIP is well equipped with all the imaging tools (MRI, optical, PET, SPECT, US) necessary for carrying on projects in the molecular imaging framework. Active research collaborations are currently going on with Bracco Imaging (IT), Merck-Serono (CH), AAA (F), San Raffaele Hospital (IT), and Stelar (IT).

Main tasks
The main research interests of UniTo are focused on the design and optimization of molecular imaging protocols, primarily using MRI. Skills are basically in the field of i) probe synthesis, including organic molecules, peptides, nanosystems, and targeting vectors; and ii) preclinical validation of the prepared probes both in vitro, on cultured cells, and in vivo on animal murine models. Among the MRI probes, the expertise is specially in the field of i) paramagnetic T1 agents based on Gd(III), and Mn(II) ions, ii) CEST agents, iii) 19F-based agents, and iv) 13C-hyperpolarised molecules. The main focus is in the design of i) highly-sensitive and responsive agents, ii) optimized cell labelling protocols using paramagnetic agents, iii) imaging protocols for the visualization of biomarkers of specific diseases, and iv) protocols for imaging-guided therapies.

Participation in INMiND:  WP4 (leader) / WP10 / WP12.

Previous experience relevant to INMiND tasks

Synthesis of imaging tracers for MRI and optical imaging. Design of imaging protocols based on MRI (scanners at different fields, 0.2, 1, 3, and 7 T available), Optical Imaging, PET, SPECT, US on experimental models of several pathologies (tumours, cardiovascular and neurogenerative diseases). The expertise is documented in the active participation in two FP6 EU-NoEs (EMIL and DiMI) and two EU integrated projects (FP6 Meditrans and FP7 ENCITE). In addition to the research activity, UniTo has been a technological training platform within EMIL, DiMI, and Meditrans networks.

University of Torino
Prof Silvio AIME
Ass Prof Enzo TERRENO
INMiND Office
European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI) Waldeyerstr. 15
· 48149 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83 49300 · Fax: +49 251 83 49313