19F magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful noninvasive molecular imaging technique for the detection of important diseases. The major challenge of 19F MRI is signal attenuation caused by the reduced solubility and mobility of probes with increased number of fluorine atoms. Here we report the synthesis and characterization of several fluorinated molecules, including the trifluoroethyl acrylate- and perfluoropolyether-based polymers as well as the discrete fluorinated oligomers. The 19F NMR/MRI properties of these fluorinated molecules have been conducted under molecular level by the combination of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and high-resolution NMR techniques. To a further step, the in vitro and in vivo experiments by applying these newly developed molecules for detecting breast cancer using quantitative 19F MRI were performed. It can be concluded that 19F NMR is a dynamic technique to sense the changes in temperature, ionic strength and tacticity. 19F MRI can serve as a versatile technique for detecting diseases in a quantitative manner with high sensitivity and selectivity.


Dr Cheng Zhang completed his PhD study in Whittaker group in AIBN, UQ in 2016. He is working on the synthesis and characterisation of biomaterials, in particular, polymeric imaging agents. His research strengths are in molecular level characterization by means of magnetic resonance and computational techniques. In the field of molecular imaging, in particular the 19F MRI, studies are currently being undertaken on applying highly fluorinated polymers as highly sensitive 19F MR agents for detection of breast cancer at early stages. He is also actively collaborating nationally and internationally with several research groups. He was awarded the UQ Early Career Research Grant to perform the research in the preparation of discrete fluorinated molecules as cargo transporter with high effectiveness.


This seminar will be preceeded by Novel bionano-solutions for diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease

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