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Brain segmentation for radiation oncology application This activity is focused on developing a software procedure for automated segmentation of brain structures starting from brain CTs and/or MRs. The software must support the manual 3D drawing or importing of a lesion ROI, excluded during segmentation. The software applies also an atlas on the segmentation, both on the Gray Matter and the White Matter and produces an RTP structure file, with contours for each slice and for each ROI. Optionally the software can import an RT dose DICOM file with which it calculates dose-volume histograms. The activity is aimed to develop, test, validate and improve the software and use it on the field for research purposes.Comerci Marco, Quarantelli Mario, Pacelli Roberto, Conson Manuel, Liuzzi Raffaele, Cella Laura
Digital brain phantoms are needed to assess the performance of segmentation methods, providing a gold standard, against which compare the segmentation produced by the softwares.
The phantom is composed of 17 tissue compartment and an optional abnormal white matter compartment, simulating MS lesions.
The software has four head models, two normal volunteers and two MS models. Currently the software allow to manually specify the mean signal intensities of the compartments, orientation, position, noise and other parameters or derive them from a target study, segmented automatically by our segmentation software, optionally warping the phantom to the target study.
Four sample phantoms, one for each model, and the custom phantoms are available for download at this link.
Chemical modification of natural molecules, such as peptides and polysaccharides, to be employed as therapeutic agents as well as sensor diagnostic tools Our research activity concerns several topics. One of our major interest is the modification of natural biopolymers and their characterization via chemical-physic characterizations. We are particularly skilled in synthetic procedures performed under solvent free conditions and with micro waves irradiation. These techniques are particularly suitable for developing environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient synthetic process to prepare biopolymer-based nano-sized material to be employed as drug delivery carrier systems. We are also focused on the development of chemoselective, convenient and mild synthetic strategy to modify the cysteine sulfhydryl group of peptide sequences in order to introduce different functionalities, such as carbohydrate moieties. It uses only activated molecular sieves to selectively promote the S- alkylation in presence of other peptide nucleophilic groups. Recently, this methodology has been employed to introduce lanthionine derivatives in peptide sequences. It consisted in a post-synthetic cysteine S-alkylation reaction performed on cyclic sulfamidates and allowed the preparation of different lanthipeptides. In addition, our skills are employed for the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of new peptide analogues endowed with a good binding affinity toward biological targets involved in cancer illnesses, such as the CXCR4 and HER2 receptors. They are supposed to be used as therapeutic agents, if able to modulate the receptor target functional roles, or to be used as diagnostic markers.De Luca Stefania
Protein semi-synthesis for biophysical and chemical biology applications Chemical ligation and protein semi? synthesis by expressed protein ligation (EPL) are powerful chemical tool to prepare selectively modified proteins with unnatural amino acids, post? translation modification, probes and stable isotope. In particular, EPL is based on the use of modified inteins, a class of protein which catalyze its self? splicing, to prepare recombinant thioester polypeptides which react chemoselectively with a synthetic peptide bearing a Cys residue at the N? terminal position to form an amide bond. We will apply this methodology for: -Semi-synthesis of double/triple labeled repeat protein for folding studies by single molecule FRET.-Segmental labeling of designed TPR proteins for folding studies by NMR.-Preparation of modified histone proteins H3 and H4 to understand the role of Histone modification in chromatin assembly.-Preparation of 13C and 15N labeled peptidesD'Andrea Luca Domenico
The Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging (IBB) of the National Research Council (CNR) has 100 staff units distributed in Naples and Turin (70 researchers / technologists) and carries out translational research for the development of new tools for prevention, diagnosis and targeted therapies.
To accomplish these objectives, researchers studying biomolecules from a structural and functional point of view collaborate with experts in preclinical imaging that study cellular and animal models of human diseases and clinical researchers carrying out experiments in humans.
Research activities include basic research, a laboratory for the preclinical imaging of small animals and clinical research areas carried out in collaboration with universities and other research institutions. The combination of design and testing expertise, both in vitro and in vivo, of new diagnostic and therapeutic agents with expertise in multiple imaging modalities (including MRI, optical imaging, PET / SPECT, ultrasound, CT) provide the interdisciplinary bases to carry out a truly innovative research in the field of molecular imaging and personalized therapy. The IBB has a consolidated experience in the research of biomarkers of various pathologies, design and synthesis of molecules able to interact with certain biomarkers and preclinical validation of the molecules developed.
Another research area developed by IBB is e-Health. The activity aims to create open-source software systems, consisting of models, services and tools to support diagnosis, therapy and follow-up, as well as for the innovative management of health processes.
The Institute is part of the Italian node of the European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Euro-BioImaging, EuBI).
The fundamental activity of the Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging consists of the following research areas:
• Design, synthesis, expression and structural characterization of molecules of biological interest, and their interactions with metal ions. Applications in the diagnostic and therapeutic field.
• Biochemical technologies and biostructures;
• Biochemical technologies aimed at diagnostic imaging;
• Image diagnostics and radiotherapy;
• Preclinical and clinical molecular imaging. New diagnostic / teragnostics agents for Molecular Imaging;
• Development of innovative technological e-health solutions, with particular attention to the issues of telemedicine and assisted diagnosis.