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Molecular tools for light-navigated therapy

PhD ceremony:Ms F. (Friederike) Reeßing
When:July 08, 2020
Start:11:00
Supervisors:dr. W.C. Szymanski, prof. dr. B.L. (Ben L.) Feringa, prof. dr. R.A.J.O. (Rudi) Dierckx
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG

Even though constant advances and innovations in modern medicine continue to improve the health and quality of life of millions of people worldwide, challenges such as the need to increase the selectivity of drugs or the informative value and sensitivity of medical imaging techniques still remain. New solutions to these problems would significantly increase the safety and efficacy of pharmacotherapy by reducing the side effects of drugs and enabling early diagnosis. For this purpose, several approaches that rely on the implementation of light-responsive molecular structures are described herein. Firstly, a new methodology based on a multi-component-reaction for the synthesis of photoactivatable multifunctional compounds is introduced. Secondly, research focusing on the development of light-responsive MRI contrast agents for selective imaging and possible monitoring of drug delivery is presented. This concept is built on the potential use of light-emitting targeting moieties that would activate an MRI contrast agent at the site of interest, leading to a signal amplification and thus enhanced sensitivity. The final part of this thesis illustrates the development of new fluorescent tracers for the selective imaging of microbial infections, as well as the imaging of parathyroid tissue. Overall, the presented research aims to enhance the scope of available photo-responsive core structures for light-activated therapy and the diagnostic power of MRI and optical fluorescence imaging.