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UZH Innovation Hub

Willy Kuo

XlinCA –Crosslinkable polymeric contrast agent for high-resolution X-ray imaging of the vascular system

Willy Kuo


The study of the three-dimensional arrangement of microvasculature in tissue is an important method to understand physiological processes, disease development and drug behavior. X-ray micro computed tomography is the technique of choice for micrometer resolution imaging at the scale of whole organs or even whole animals. In his Fellowship, Willy Kuo will improve the production process of a new contrast agent XlinCA for microvascular imaging.

XlinCA holds several advantages over existing vascular casting agents. It is fully water-soluble and therefore inherently does not suffer from filling artifacts encountered with current plastic resin-based compounds. Its high molecular weight prevents leakage of the contrast agent across normal and fenestrated blood vessel walls. Furthermore, it can be cross-linked with the same aldehydes used in tissue preparation protocols, allowing for the same permanent retention of contrast as the solidifying plastic resins.

These properties allow for microvascular imaging with considerably less challenging techniques and higher success rates, reducing time, costs and the number of experimental animals required.

Affiliation: Prof. Dr. sc. Vartan Kurtcuoglu

Start date: 01/2022


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Dr. Willy Kuo