The Molecular Imaging Centre improves patient care facilities and increases clinical trial opportunities at Castle Hill Hospital (that serves Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire). The innovative medical imaging technologies have had a huge positive impact on patient health and NHS services while facilitating international research interactions and attracting skilled workers to the region.
The team’s advances in molecular imaging science have substantially improved diagnostic scanning capabilities and patient treatment. The Jack Brignall PET-CT centre has replaced a limited capacity mobile scanner that was only based at the hospital for two days a week. This permanent fixture increased the number of scans three-fold, and its state-of-the-art equipment has improved the healthcare and experience of >12,500 patients. The availability of new types of scans tested in the University PET Research Centre has also improved the capabilities of Nuclear Cardiology at Castle Hill Hospital. These include patients with amyloid scans, sarcoidosis and drug delivery to the lung with more than 50 patients benefitting per annum.
The research relationship with HUTH NHS has led to the development of integrated research facilities at the hospital site and to major change in the practice and delivery of NHS radiopharmacy in Hull. These changes have improved the facilities for delivery of radiopharmacy and reduced the risk of patient service failure to ensure that all patients can receive their diagnosis as rapidly as possible.
Our facility has collaboration agreements for research with other institutions and commercial organisations. These are in place to supply tracers to Universities and research facilities, making our centre a focus for translational medical imaging research in the North of England.
The University of Hull has hosted placement students, internships, PhD studentships and visiting scientists from countries including Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, France, Turkey and Thailand. We have provided expert training in radiochemistry technology training for researchers and healthcare professionals in the specialised area of positron emission tomography radiochemistry which has been taken back to the home countries. These researchers have moved back to skilled radiochemistry positions in their home countries.
This research project has also upskilled NHS staff with the latest technology for future patient benefit (eight NHS staff are affiliated to the University and five received additional hands-on training on campus in new radiochemistry technology). This process therefore benefits our collective research capacity as well as healthcare delivery.
Associated project publications/outputs
1. Burke B.P., Grantham W., Burke, M.J., Nichol, G.S., Roberts, D., Renard, I., Hargreaves, R., Cawthorne, C.J., Archibald, S.J., Lusby, P.J. Visualizing Kinetically Robust (Co4L6)-L-III Assemblies in Vivo: SPECT Imaging of the Encapsulated Tc-99m TcO4- Anion. J Am Chem Soc. 2018;140:16877-16881.
2. Positron detection in silica monoliths for miniaturised quality control of PET radiotracers M.Tarn, D. Maneuski, R. Alexander, N. J. Brown, V. O’Shea, S. L. Pimlott, N. Pamme and J. Archibald Chemical Communications, 2016, 52, 7221 – 7224
3. Aliyu, S.A., Avery, G., Cawthorne, C., Archibald, S.J., Kadir, T., Willaime, J. M. Y., Morice, H., Hart, S.P., Crooks, M.G. Textural analysis demonstrates heterogeneous F-18 - fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in radiologically normal lung in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Eur Respir J. 2018;52.
4. Burke, B. P.; Miranda, C. S.; Lee, R. E.; Renard, I.; Nigam, S.; Clemente, G. S.; D’Huys, T.; Ruest, T.; Domarkas, J.; Thompson, J. A.; Hubin, T. J.; Schols, D.; Cawthorne, C. J.; Archibald, S. J., 64Cu PET imaging of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor using a crossbridged cyclam bis-tetraazamacrocyclic antagonist. Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2020, 61 (1), 123-128.
5. Tarn, M.D., Kizilyer, N.Y., Esfahani, M.M.N., Joshi, P., Brown, N.J., Pamme, N., Jenkins, D.G., Archibald, S.J. Plastic Scintillator-Based Microfluidic Devices for Miniaturized Detection of Positron Emission Tomography Radiopharmaceuticals. Chemistry-a European Journal. 2018;24:13749-13753.
Research grants (total of £3.5 million to the University of Hull researchers since 2012)
1. Daisy Appeal Charity £580,000 (2012-2017) ‘Integrated microfluidic devices for per patient dose synthesis and validation.’
2. EU FP7 ‘iTERM: imaging for tissue engineering ITN’ total value €3,575,729 (6 universities and 4 companies, 2013-2017). Hull project Co-I (funding £253,085) and Lead site for PET imaging.
3. Cardiac Trust £278,000 (2018-2020) ‘Radiochemistry facilities for cardiac tracer production’
4. Medical Research Council £558,000 (2019-2022) ‘New technology to improve capability for clinical radiopharmaceutical production’
5. Engineering and Physical Sciences Healthcare Technologies £136,858 (2021-2024) ‘Development of novel acyclic chelators for gallium-68 and scandium-44 radiometals used in PET’ Linked project with King’s College London.
Patents (1-6 granted and 7 under examination)
1. RADIOACTIVITY DETECTION WO2017153722A1 14/09/2017
2. MONOLITHIC BODY WO2016063070A1 28/04/2016
3. METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF COMPOUNDS EP3209418A2 30/08/2017
4. SYSTEM FOR RADIOPHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTION EP3209628A1 30/08/2017
5. RADIOISOTOPE RECOVERY EP3210211A1 30/08/2017
6. Compositions comprising macrocycle derivatives incorporating bridged macrocycles and methods of producing and using same US10927108B2 23/02/21
7. INERT NANOCAPSULES WO2020016561A1 patent application under examination