A team of researchers led by Chemistry Asst. Prof. Manos Gkikas is developing an advanced X-ray imaging method that aims to improve the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. The noninvasive technology uses dyes, called contrast agents, that are specifically designed to recognize molecularly breast cancer cells and bind to them. The dyes will amplify the X-ray signal for tumors when imaged with a special, state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) scanner, called “photon-counting spectral CT.”
The project is funded with a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, with UMass Lowell getting $590,000 and the rest going to UMass Medical School. In addition, MARS Bioimaging, a New Zealand-based company that is a pioneer in photon-counting spectral CT, will sponsor a postdoctoral researcher to work at UMass Lowell for three years, for a total of $210,000.