Luminescent Conjugated Polymers

pFTAALUPAS propose to develop novel agents and methods for diagnostic imaging that will rely on reporter molecules based on luminescent conjugated polymers, LCPs. Today derivatives of the traditional amyloidotropic dyes, like the PIB (a derivative of Thioflavin T), are at the forefront for in vivo amyloid imaging. The current state-of-the art compounds all have a sterically rigid structure. As research tools LCPs are superior since their spectroscopic signature depends on their conformation. Hence the LCP molecules, provide unprecedented contrast of subtle changes of the molecular target due to conformational changes of the LCP during binding. The physico-chemical reason for LCP recognition of amyloidogenic structures rely on the repetitive structure of the polymer that associated with symmetric repetitive molecular targets (amyloidotic molecules). Hereby, the polymeric nature of both the interaction partners afford high avidity multivalent interactions resulting in high selectivity and specificity towards protein aggregates by LCPs. LCP enables a direct coupling of spectroscopy to conformation (structure) and offers extraordinary optical contrast. Hence, LCPs entail smart imaging agents that can be activated by visible light and by infrared light (multi-photon) when bound to protein aggregates.

By the development of associated hyper spectral imaging and multiphoton imaging techniques these imaging agents will not only improve the quality of diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases but also be of great advantage for monitoring and understanding the disease progression, especially from a biochemical research perspective. Secondly, LCPs can be properly functionalized for implementation in minimal invasive conventional imaging configurations, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), that are being use for routine clinical diagnosis within the health care system, thus paving the way to clinical therapy and drug development in the near future.