Dr. Ferdinand Knieling from the University Hospital Erlangen was awarded the Adalbert Czerny Award 2019 from the German Society for Pediatrics and Youth Medicine (DGKJ) for his work on innovative diagnostic methods. He was the first to apply a newly developed multispectral optoacoustic imaging method, which non-invasively provides information about tissue composition, on patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Knieling’s work on a light- and sound-based imaging technique has been shown to have potential benefits for patients suffering from Crohn’s Disease and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. By detection of local changes in hemoglobin and collagen distribution, the technique promises to provide a fast and non-invasive method to visualize and quantify inflammation and fibrosis. The MSOT (Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography) imaging technology being used has been developed by iThera Medical GmbH, a biomedical device company based in Munich.
In optoacoustic imaging, the physician scans the region of interest through the skin, applying near-infrared, pulsed laser light. The light energy absorbed in tissue is converted into acoustic signals which are acquired by an ultrasound detector. Christian Wiest, CEO of iThera Medical GmbH, comments: “MSOT is an innovative and easy to use diagnostic imaging modality that can detect changes in tissue composition associated with a variety of diseases, without the use of contrast agents. The technology has already been applied in other clinical feasibility studies, e.g. for the detection of melanoma metastasis in sentinel lymph nodes or for the assessment of suspicious breast lesions”.
As a young scientist, Ferdinand Knieling has conducted light- and sound-based imaging in his clinical research projects and published his study results in high-ranking journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Having a strong background knowledge in the field of imaging, he says: “We hope that multispectral optoacoustic imaging can be applied to many applications and can be used to enable safe evaluations of children and adolescents. With this new examination method, many of the currently invasive procedures might become obsolete.”
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