What ItaBI is
ItaBI is the italian community of scientists and technologists who are devoted to advance the field of BioImaging.
The scientific goal of BioImaging is the real time visualization of biological processes in living systems, from single cells to humans, with minimal interference with physiological processes and minimal invasiveness. BioImaging include 2D as well as 3D visualization of living systems (cells or whole organisms) in terms of either morphology/anatomy, or cellular/biochemical processes, or chemico-physical and molecular microenvironment.
BioImaging plays a major contribution in the advance of many classical scientific disciplines, including clinical diagnostics, molecular biology and medicine, molecular pharmaceutics, cell biology, chemical biology, biochemistry and neuroscience, to cite a few.
The world of BioImaging can be divided into two thoroughly interacting sub-areas :
- Advanced Light Microscopy (ALM)
- BioMedical Imaging (BMI)
ALM can be broadly defined as the observation of whole organisms, single cells and subcellular structures, with the ideal aim to observe and track molecular events within single cells over their physiologic (or pathophysiologic) lifetime.
A large number of technologies to achieve smaller and smaller space and time resolution contributes to advance ALM, including:
- correlative microscopy
- functional microscopy
- high-throughput microscopy
BMI can be broadly defined as the visualization under the form of images of any anatomic detail, physiologic parameter, macromolecule, metabolite, biochemical reaction or cellular process in living organism which is relevant to understand (patho)physiological processes. Although BMI is getting a more and more prominent position in basic biological and biomedical sciences as well as in the development of new therapeutics, the outstanding potential of BMI resides in the enhancement of the diagnostic power of imaging techniques which are amenable to routine clinical practices.
One of the current advances of BMI in diagnostics is to develop safe and non-invasive methods to obtain maps showing molecular or cellular events within the body (including those stimulated or inhibited by drugs) eventually superimposed to more conventional anatomic images. The capability to obtain molecular maps of the activity or concentration of biological targets will then pave the way for the personalization of the therapy and for imaging-guided drug delivery approaches. Application to cell trafficking after transplation is another exciting aspect of BMI, as it is giving a great contribution to the development of cell-based medicine. The most well-established imaging platforms in the contest of diagnostic BMI are the classical methodologies used in clinical settings such as:
- nuclear medicine modalities (SPECT and PET)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Ultrasound (US)
- X-ray Computed Tomography (CT)
However the growth of Molecular Imaging has brought to the massive involvement of Optical Imaging (used to related developments such as Photoacoustic Imaging).