Magnetic resonance imaging of early molecular changes in diabetic heart disease

  • Vandsburger, Moriel (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Vandsburger lab is a biomedical research lab at the University of Kentucky with a research focus on developing novel molecular MRI technology for the diagnosis and study of heart failure in the setting of diabetes and kidney disease. The majority of diabetics suffer mortality from heart failure, yet existing diagnostic technologies either require invasive, painful, and inaccurate biopsies, or use imaging approaches such as ultrasound to examine anatomical and global functional changes and are limited to detecting heart failure at late and likely irreversible disease stages. In contrast, we leverage a unique combination of knowledge in MRI physics, biomedical engineering, and the molecular biology of heart disease to create new and innovative methods that can identify the beginnings of heart failure in a totally non]invasive and painless manner. The particular project for which we are seeking support focuses on in vivo imaging of one of the earliest markers of diabetic heart failure utilizing a novel molecular MRI technique that we developed in the last 2 years. In this project we seek to image the fatty acid transporter CD36 using a novel targeted MRI contrast agent. In healthy heart cells, CD36 is distributed evenly between the cell membrane and the cytoplasm. In the pre]diabetic heart, CD36 distribution changes to be 100% at the cell membrane, marking an early molecular event that if identified could enable earlier treatment, prevent heart failure and reduce mortality. Our technique represents the only non]invasive method capable of identifying such molecular changes. We are seeking support to conduct the first study in a mouse model of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Effective start/end date11/17/1410/1/15


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