The central projects support the areas of basic research and biomedical applications by providing:


  • standardized MNP to all Projects

  • a broad spectrum of bioanalytical tools required in the B-area

  • standardized and quantitative imaging procedures for the B-area

  • a central project for administrative and organizational Tasks


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Project C01 (Taupitz/Schnorr)

© Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Central Project for Synthesis, Analysis, and Quality Control of Imaging Probes and for Histology

Low-molecular-weight Gd-based compounds and electrostatically stabilized iron oxide nanoparticles developed by our group can be used as imaging probes for visualizing inflammatory processes by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based on their semispecific interactions with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) of the pathologically altered extracellular matrix (ECM). This project will provide imaging probes as well as dedicated histologic procedures for the microscopic characterization of GAGs, thereby contributing to the further elucidation of the above-mentioned interactions in conjunction with the physical analytic techniques used by other projects of the CRC. A further aim of this project is to accomplish more specific targeting of GAGs by linking the imaging probes to peptides with an affinity for GAGs. This will first be done for microscopic specimens with a view to later using these probes for in vivo imaging within the CRC.

Project C02 (Blanchard/Pagel/Traub)

(A) Movat pentachrome staining of an atherosclerotic plaque. Spatial repartition of selected (B) glycans and (C) peptides of the atherosclerotic plaque shown in (A) measured imaging by mass spectrometry. Green circle, mannose; yellow circle, galactose; blue square, N-acetylglucosamine; red triangle, fucose; purple diamond, N-acetylneuraminic acid.
(A-D) LA-ICP-MS images of the elemental distribution in myocardial tissue of a rat with chronic kidney disease and hyperphosphatemia after i.v. injection of a Gd-containing contrast agent. (E) Line scan showing colocalization of Gd, P and S. (collaboration with B03)

Central Project for Biochemical Analysis of Proteoglycans and Glycosaminoglycans and for Element-Specific Microscopy

Inflammatory processes are accompanied by changes in glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that are able to form complexes with cationic metal-based imaging probes.

The aim of this project is to understand the molecular factors involved in the binding of cationic imaging probes to GAGs using chromatographic, electrophoretic, and mass spectrometric methods. The in situ localization of metals in inflammatory biological tissue samples will be elucidated by LA-ICP-MS imaging. The spatial arrangement of GAGs in inflamed tissue will be examined using a GAG MALDI imaging-mass spectrometry approach.

Project C03 (Schäffter/Sack)

© Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Central Project for Quantitative Biomedical Imaging

Quantification of biochemical and biophysical tissue properties by medical imaging is crucial for the further improvement of diagnosis and therapeutic decision-making. Quantitative medical imaging will be the core technology for those projects of the proposed CRC that perform in vivo imaging of tissue matrix alterations caused by disease. C03 supports all CRC projects by providing cutting-edge imaging technology for quantitative characterization of the pathologically altered extracellular matrix (ECM). This includes test and reference objects (phantoms), common elastography hardware as well as a standardized image acquisition, reconstruction and analysis pipeline. In addition, researchers from other projects will be supported and trainined in applying these new imaging techniques.

Project C04 (Hamm)

Central Project for Administration and Project Management

The central services provided by this project for the CRC include: (a) administration and project management; (b) data management and maintenance of a webpage, with support from the Charité’s central IT department; (c) compliance with equal opportunity guidelines, (d) organization of workshops and both national and international congresses; (e) administration of the travel funds; (f) coordination of junior scientist training in cooperation with the Research Training Group „BIOQIC-Biophysical Quantitative Imaging towards Clinical Diagnosis“ and the SALSA graduate training college; (g) organization of start-up funding and of (h) the two Gerok positions; and (i) communication with the management of the research institutions participating in the CRC.