Macro Area Coordinators: Dr Caterina Cinti and Dr Vincenzo Gemignani, engineer
The Bio-Techno-Science and Modelling area is an area of interest in which IFC has traditionally always been strong; it includes: - Development and processing of multimodal imaging; - A radiopharmaceutical unit, supported by a cyclotron; - Mathematical modelling; - Biomedical electronics IFC is a partner of Fondazione Toscana “G. Monasterio" in "cross-modality" and large-scale molecular imaging projects, supported by instruments (CT-PET, microPET, 1.5T and 3T MRI, digital angiography, ultrasound scanners, SPECT, digital radiology) and physicists, engineers and ICT experts. The purpose is to integrate multiple imaging techniques with the support of mathematical modelling, high-performance distributed and parallel computing, high-tech networking, multimodal information and image fusion, and real-time 3D and 4D reconstruction. One of the most important on-going projects is the assessment of the potential role of marate pyruvate with hyperpolarised C13 for metabolic tests with 3T MRI. The radiopharmaceutical unit (supported by a cyclotron), probably IFC’s most important facility, currently being refurbished, supports multimodal imaging by developing and producing targeted bio-tracers (radiopharmaceuticals, paramagnetic contrast mediums), and, in partnership with experimental preclinical units, it is involved in the development of new selective release methods with viral and non viral carriers (micro-bubbles, liposomes, nano-spheres and cell permeability modifiers). Mathematical modelling is mainly applied to research in the physiopathology of the cardiovascular system and its adjustments to illness and stressful conditions, using advanced "cluster analysis" techniques in support of molecular biology and clinical assessment, signal processing and metabolic tests. The role of biomedical electronics is to develop new devices, both "front-end" and specialised, for applications to medical and preclinical research, including wearable sensors; the latest and most successful technology includes a new patented device for the in vivo study of the human arterial endothelium in variable conditions (provided to a large number of European laboratories), an integrated cardiovascular monitoring system used in extreme conditions and deep diving, and a distinctive nitrogen oxide delivery system for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.