Optical probes for medical diagnostics and cell biological research – OPTOPROBE

Area of relevance: 
20 May 2009 - 20 May 2012
Forschungszentrum Borstel, Borstel, Germany / ATTO-TEC GmbH, Siegen, Germany /Gesellschaft für Silizium-Mikrosysteme mbH GeSiM, Großerkmannsdorf, Germany / Karl Storz GmbH & Co KG, Tuttlingen, Germany / Laser- & Medizin-Technologie GmbH Berlin LMTB, Berlin, Germany / R-Biopharm AG, Darmstadt, Germany
Funded by: 
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany


Optical imaging techniques are amongst the most promising tools for biomedical research and diagnostics, yet their sensitivity and resolution, which ultimately determine their value, still are limited by the quality of the optical probes that are employed to visualize the targets of interest. Our joint project of six industrial and academic partners aims to establish new ways for the generation, application and validation of probes that combine high specificity with supreme detectability. The OPTOPROBE project network will cover a broad range of aspects along the way from designing such probes up to their implementation in clinical diagnostic processes: realization of a rational and efficient way to identify suitable ligands for selected tumor markers, generation of special fluorescent probes to label intracellular targets, and in vivo evaluation of the novel optical probes by a sophisticated multi-channel fluorescence endoscopy system. By providing the means to create highly efficient optical probes for biomedical imaging purposes our project will make significant contributions to enable earlier and more accurate medical diagnostics and thus play a valuable part in public health improvement for the years to come. The project is supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the research program „Biophotonics“.