November & December 2020
January & February 2021

Online event

Webinar 'Photonics in Healthcare'

Thursday 28 January
15:00 - 17:00

Wouter Nagengast


Title: Fluorescence molecular imaging in diagnoses and treatment follow up


Fluorescence molecular imaging enables real-time guidance during clinical medical procedures like endoscopy, surgery and pathology. For performing fluorescence molecular imaging fluorescent tracers need to be developed and GMP produced, technology needs to be optimized for visualization and quantification and clinicians need guidance in interpretation of the results. During the presentation examples will be shown how fluorescence molecular imaging could be used during clinical procedures to guide therapy and improve patient outcome. 


Prof. Dr. Wouter Nagengast is trained as a Gastroenterologist and Pharmacist, and currently works at the UMCG as clinical gastroenterologist with a focus on oncology, advanced endoscopic imaging, endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and submucosal endoscopic dissection (ESD). He obtained a PhD at the Department of Medical Oncology in 2009. During his PhD, he developed several targeted nuclear tracers for molecular imaging and validated them in preclinical models and clinical trials. With a fascination for the possibilities of optical imaging, he developed an innovative new endoscopic technology, molecular fluorescence endoscopy (MFE), to detect dysplasia and perform treatment follow up during endoscopy procedures. Since clinical translation and implementation of this technology require a strong cross-disciplinary team of physicians, chemists, pharmacists, biologists, physicists, and engineers he started, together with Prof. Go van Dam, the research group Optical Molecular Imaging Groningen ( Within OMIG they managed to develop and produce GMP compliant new fluorescent antibodies and applied them in over 250 patients in clinical trials. Beside fluorescence visualization during endoscopy, OMIG has enabled quantitative fluorescence molecular endoscopy by correcting background tissue optical properties, i.e. absorption and scattering properties of the tissue. By fluorescent labeling of drugs this technology enables quantitative insight into drug distribution in the gastrointestinal tract as recently demonstrated in rectal cancer patients.

Company description:

The UMCG is a large academic hospital in the Netherlands. The UMCG Department of Gastroenterology performed their first in human optical imaging trial with a targeted tracer in 2008 and since then more than 250 patients have entered clinical trials. For the ex vivo validation of fluorescent tracers, the Optical Imaging Group Groningen ( has imaging systems such as the PEARL Imager (LI-COR), the IVIS Spectrum (PerkinElmer), the Odyssey CLx flatbed scanner (LI-COR), the TissueFAXS (TissueGnostics), and a fluorescence microscope specifically equipped for visualization of fluorescence in the NIR light spectrum available, among other devices and techniques. Making use of population-based (Lifelines) and disease-specific (Parelsnoer and 1000IBD) biobanks, the emphasis of the multi-omics and fundamental research lies on chronic immune-mediated diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease) and gastrointestinal cancers.