Label-free Chemical Imaging: Early Detection of Heart Transplant Rejection

Type of Award: Catalyst
Date Awarded: April 2015
Award End Date: March 2017
Amount Awarded: $ 199,745.00
PI(s): Michael Walsh, PhD, UIC; Aliya Husain, MD, UChicago;

Abstract: Heart transplant remains the most effective long-term treatment of end-stage heart failure. However, despite great surgical success with heart transplants, cardiac allograft rejection, remains a major cause of transplant failure. There are three main types of rejection, acute cellular rejection (ACR), chronic allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). ACR is relatively well understood and treatable while AMR is less well understood and has been associated with worse outcomes including a greatly increased risk for developing CAV. The current gold standard for AMR diagnosis is staining for the protein C4d, however this is a fairly late stage marker of AMR at which point damage has already been done. We propose to develop chemical imaging, which allows for the label-free acquisition of rich-biochemical images that can be used for disease diagnosis. The goals of this proposal are to; 1) Identify a 'biochemical signature' of AMR and 2) Identify patients undergoing AMR earlier than is possible using current approaches.