GYM – SCANNEXUS
We / Scannexus are the core of the European Centre of Excellence in Ultra-High-Field MRI in Maastricht, in which the expertise of an international group of technological, clinical and academic organisations is pooled. Scannexus provides a unique, integrated platform that combines state-of-the art technology with know-how and internationally renowned expertise in post-acquisition processing of Ultra-High-Field MRI data.
The core elements of our facility are three Ultra-high-field human MRI scanners, supplied by Siemens; a 3T Magnetom Prisma Fit, a 7T Magnetom and a 9.4T Magnetom. Ultra-High-field imaging offers new levels of insight into anatomy and function, and opens up a range of possibilities with implications for medical diagnosis and treatment. With the help of these ultra-high-field scanners, one can visualize the smallest details in the body. We focuses on 5 main themes: neuroscience, cardiovascular, oncology, musculoskeletal, metabolism & nutrition. The GYM project connects seamlessly with the musculoskeletal and metabolism research themes of us / Scannexus, which is of particular importance to follow the labelled stem cells following administration and their engraftment in the affected muscle. The required resolution can only be offered by us.
The GYM project helps us to explore if its portfolio can be extended to monitoring and follow muscle stem cell therapy, by which a new group of researchers and patients can be reached. This would increase the use and return on investment of the highly advanced infrastructure we are having and is of strategic importance for the services supplied. It would further strengthen the role of us as key player in and catalyser of translational research in the EMR.
With the help of MRI, it is possible to non-invasively follow labelled (e.g. iron oxide or 19F) stem cells in the human body and to trace where these stem cells position themselves. For us, this research study can be a big step in the clinical patient care of who have to undergo stem cell therapy. In addition, it is a research that provides added value to the quality of life for the patient.
Job van den Hurk is a neuroscientist, and an expert in research designs and statistics/data analysis methods. Within this project, he aims to extract meaningful parameters from the MRI data to address research questions related to muscle damage and – regeneration. And oversees the general proceedings of the project. In the General Assembly he is the project leader representing Scannexus.
Job van den Hurk, Scientific Manager
Esther Steijvers is a research technician at Scannexus, with an expertise at 7T and 9.4T MRI research applications. Her involvement will be at setting up the data acquisition methods at our ultra-high field MRI systems required for this project
Esther Steijvers, MRI Operations & Support Technician
As our project coordinator, Maxime Graus oversees and streamlines the administrative and communication details between us and the rest of the consortium.