M. Andrea Markus


Nanoscale materials increasingly find application in the diagnosis and/or therapy of a number of diseases. We are particularly interested in the question how nanoparticles can improve the accumulation and efficacy of tumor-targeted therapies. Moreover, we study how nanoparticles help to track tumor cells or immune cells such as macrophages and how they can be exploited for the in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo visualization of cell-cell interactions as well as interactions with the tumor microenvironment.

We do this by using a number of imaging techniques, including optical in vivo imaging, high resolution in vivo computer tomography, optoacoustic imaging as well as high-resolution microscopy. The optimization of nanoparticles for multimodal imaging and translation into the clinic is a major goal which is achieved in collaborations with private companies and chemists e.g. from the Karlsruher Institute of Technology (Claus Feldmann, KIT). A recent collaboration with the Heart and Brain Centre of the University Medical Centre Göttingen (Elisabeth Zeisberg) examines the transport and accumulation of novel mRNA-based nanocarriers.

Previous work investigated novel imaging techniques for the detection, monitoring, and characterization of fibrosis. Cardiac fibrosis was examined by two-photon microscopy and X-ray based high resolution techniques in collaboration with the X-ray Physics Department of the University of Göttingen and the German Primate Center. Lung fibrosis was studied by means of an X-ray based lung function technique (XLF) that was developed in our group. 


  • Evaluation of transport and accumulation of RNA-based nanocarriers
  • Drug-encapsulating nanoparticles for the treatment of breast cancer
  • Deep learning platform for the identification of novel imaging biomarkers from 3D pathology samples
  • Evaluation of novel in vivo time-domain NIR fluorescence imaging devices and probes
  • Tracking of pulmonary macrophages with novel nanoparticles
  • Interaction of nanoparticles with tumor and immune cells in the diseased lung and pancreatic cancer
  • X-ray based analysis of lung inflammation and lung fibrosis
  • High resolution imaging of cardiac fibrosis


Nathalia Ferreira (PhD Student) – co-supervision

Daniele Ferrari (PhD Student) – co-supervision

Bharti Arora (PhD Student) – co-supervision

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