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International Consortium to Develop Photonic Tools for Deep Brain Imaging

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GENOA, Italy, Feb. 1, 2021 — In the amount of €5.7 million (approximately $7 million), the European Union is funding a 12-partner, eight-country project aimed at developing photonic technologies to access and image deep regions of the brain. Funded for the next four years, the DEEPER project (for Deep Brain Photonic Tools for Cell-Type Specific Targeting of Natural Diseases) will support technologists, neuroscientists, clinical experts, and technology companies working together to directly treat diseases in the brain in minimally invasive ways.

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is coordinating the international consortium, according to a press release, and will be led by Massimo De Vittorio, coordinator of IIT’s Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies. The developed photonic technologies will access the regions of the brain in which alterations contributing to brain disorders — including Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, chronic pain, depression, and schizophrenia — may occur.

Molecular optical sensors, minimally invasive probes, and next-generation microscopes and endoscopes are the technologies that the project will develop to study dysfunctions at the molecular and cellular levels of the brain.

The partners will then conduct experiments using the newly introduced technology and tools. The technology will then be transferred from laboratory to market, with the goal of building a value chain to strengthen Europe’s position in the biophotonics market.

Additional collaborators are the University of Zurich; the University of Geneva; the University of Strathclyde; the University of Freiburg; the University of Hamburg; the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Sorbonne University; the Weizmann Institute of Science; IBEC (Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia); OptogeniX; and Atlas Neuroengineering.

Photonics.com
Feb 2021
imagingbiomedical imagingmedicalAlzheimers diseaseEuropeBusinessneuroneuroscienceeducationoptical sensorsoptical sensingmolecular optoelectronicsbrain imagingMicroscopyendoscopygrant fundingEUIstituto Italiano de Tecnologia

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