PIOTR RELIGA TEAM
Aim of our research is to find functional mechanism of changes in morphological structure of blood vessels that can be used for diagnosis and treatment of common diseases.
The diseases such as ischemia and cancer are related to pathological state of arteries. The pathogens, blood flow and interaction with surrounding tissues lead to stimuli of the cells in the vessels and morphological changes. The process is triggered by cytokines, chemokines and adhesion molecules on the cellular surface. This turn results in recruitment of monocytes, and lymphocytes than infiltrate the blood vessel wall and surrounding tissues. In the large vessels stimulation of smooth muscle cells and surrounding adventitia leads to migration of the cells towards the blood vessels lumen. The following thickening of vascular wall leads to blood flow disturbances and ischemia. In cancer, most tumor vessels do not fit into the conventional hierarchy of arterioles, capillaries and venules. Abnormalities involve all components of the vascular wall: endothelial cells, mural cells and basement membrane. The changes in the vascular morphology are related to formation of metastasis.
We use cutting-edge methodology, detailed molecular studies on human tissues and animal models for studies of vascular mechanisms of diseases. We use the following techniques that are uniquely related to our research.
• Photonic methods that allow a contact and marker-free identification and selection of cells (RAMAN microscopy)
• Magnetic cell select devices that capture and transport cells through the circulatory system
• Tracer imaging technologies to monitor anatomic structure AND demonstrating cellular function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a new imaging technology known as magnetic particle imaging (MPI).