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Diagnostic, therapeutic and theranostic techniques via molecular ultrasound imaging

Associate Professor Xiaowei Wang, Institution: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

2017 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2018-2021


Atherosclerosis, thrombosis and their complications are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Australia.

Dr Xiaowei Wang’s goal is to advance current non-invasive ultrasound technology for molecular imaging, as well as to establish site-directed therapy and innovative theranostic (concurrent diagnosis and therapy) approaches for these diseases.

Dr Wang aims to use antibodies, that bind to specific bio-markers, and couple them to ultrasound contrast agents (microbubbles) for molecular imaging. The low cost and general availability of ultrasound scanners and the emerging use of microbubbles in patients make this proposed molecular ultrasound imaging highly feasible and promising.

Targeted drug delivery, for enrichment of drugs at sites where they are needed, will be achieved by fusing antibodies to drugs, thereby overcoming the current bleeding limitations in clinical thrombolysis.

Dr Wang will further investigate new theranostic (concurrent diagnostic and therapy) approaches. These approaches will provide opportunities for both treatment and preventative applications.

Dr Wang’s innovative proposal aims to improve the management of five major diseases, venous and atrial thrombosis (including blood clots in the left atrial of patients with atrial fibrillation), myocardial infarction, as well as unstable atherosclerotic plaques in the abdominal aorta and coronary arteries.

Overall, the project promises direct translation into diagnostic, therapeutic and theranostic advances and therefore has the potential to provide major clinical benefits to patients with atherosclerotic and thrombotic diseases.

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