HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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Switchable molecules

Tech & Health Solutions

Logo Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel


Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Exhibitor details
Exhibitor details
Logo Switchable molecules

Product description

Switchable molecules usable as a contrast agent in medicine: They could make tiny molecular machines, new materials or innovative applications in medicine possible: switchable molecules, which can be controlled by external stimuli such as light or temperature. Their development and their potential applications are explored in the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 677 at Kiel University.

Researchers explain how they function using glass vessels with colourless solutions, which contain so-called spiropyrans. These photoactive molecules change their structures, and thereby their properties, when irradiated with UV light. As a result, coloured structures originate in the irradiated solution, which sprout like mushrooms due to thermal effects. After a short time, the molecules switch back to their original state, and the colour disappears again.

One future area of application for switchable molecules could be as a switchable contrast agent in medical diagnostics. Conventional contrast agents tend to accumulate bit-by-bit in the blood and tissue, so that the contrast greatly decreases over time. Switchable contrast agents are activated when they are injected, and deactivate by themselves after a certain period of time, so that significantly longer operating times are possible. A catheter for using the switchable contrast agent can be seen at the booth, and a film with x-ray photographs of it.

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Hall 2, Stand C07

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