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2409, 2020

Dr Joshua Kaggie talk on “Fast Quantitative Imaging with MR Fingerprinting” at Imperial College London

September 24th, 2020|Dissemination, Partner news, STARSTEM|

Today, 24 September 2020, Dr Joshua Kaggie presented on new fast, quantitative imaging techniques to MRI Physicists at Imperial College London. Twelve people attended. Better imaging techniques may help us detect osteoarthritis and other diseases more accurately, which can improve the development of new treatments.


209, 2020

Will Hotham to give ‘rapid fire talk’ at the UK and German EV symposium this September

September 2nd, 2020|Conference presentation, Knowledge transfer, STARSTEM|

Best of luck to Will Hotham, PhD student at the University of Cambridge who will give a rapid fire talk tomorrow at the jointly hosted German (GSEV) and UK (UKEV) EV Autumn Symposium #GSEVUKEV2020.

During the rapid fire talk session five early stage researchers, selected from the abstracts boil down their results to present in 5’ plus 3’ Q&A. The organising committee selects the best talk to receive an award.

Will shared his thoughts on this virtual meeting.

In […]
1307, 2020

STARSTEM publication news – Nanosensitive optical coherence tomography to assess wound healing within the cornea

July 13th, 2020|Dissemination, Publication, STARSTEM|

We are delighted to share a new STARSTEM publication – Nanosensitive optical coherence tomography to assess wound healing within the cornea. Team members from the TOMI, NUI Galway recently published this article in Biomedical Optics Express. The journal’s scope encompasses fundamental research, technology development, biomedical studies and clinical applications.

We asked the team to discuss their work.

What were you aiming to find out in this publication?

The aim of the study is to demonstrate the capability of nsOCT to detect structural changes deep in the cornea following superficial corneal injury and subsequent healing.

Why is this important?

Studying nanoscale structural […]

607, 2020

STARSTEM publication news – Nanoscale structure detection and monitoring of tumour growth with optical coherence tomography

July 6th, 2020|Dissemination, Publication, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM members from the TOMI, NUI Galway recently published a new article called Nanoscale structure detection and monitoring of tumour growth with optical coherence tomography in the journal of Nanoscale Advances.

We asked the team to discuss their work.

What were you aiming to find out in this publication?

Proposed research demonstrated detection of depth resolved submicron structure with few nanometre accuracies and quantified its alteration as tumour growth in mammary fat pad (MFP).

Why does this research need to be done?

Early detection of cancer can save millions of lives. It is known that tissue goes through submicron structural changes […]

607, 2020

STARSTEM publication news – Effectively Measuring Exercise-related Variations in T1ρ and T2 Relaxation Times of Healthy Articular Cartilage

July 6th, 2020|Dissemination, Publication, STARSTEM|

Congratulations to Joshua Kaggie and the team at the University of Cambridge on the acceptance of their article for publication in Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Their article, ‘Effectively Measuring Exerciserelated Variations in T1ρ and T2 Relaxation Times of Healthy Articular Cartilage’ is currently in press and assesses exercise-induced changes in femoral, tibial and patellar articular cartilage composition and compares these against measurement repeatability. 


Background: Determining the compositional response of articular cartilage to dynamic joint loading using magnetic resonance imaging […]

2906, 2020

STARSTEM publication news – Noninvasive detection of nanoscale structural changes in cornea associated with cross‐linking treatment.

June 29th, 2020|Publication, STARSTEM|

We are delighted to share a new STARSTEM publication – Noninvasive detection of nanoscale structural changes in cornea associated with cross‐linking treatment. Team members from the TOMI, NUI Galway recently published this article in the Journal of Biophotonics, the first international journal dedicated to publishing original articles and reviews from the exciting field of biophotonics.

We asked Yi Zhou, lead author of Noninvasive detection of nanoscale structural changes in cornea associated with cross‐linking treatment to discuss their work.

What were you aiming to find out in this publication?

The proposed method […]

2206, 2020

BIGSS 2020 Virtual Summer School (August 25th – 29th 2020)

June 22nd, 2020|Partner news, Related Project News|

Biophotonics and Imaging Graduate Summer School (BIGSS) 2020 – Virtual Summer School (August 25th – 29th 2020)


BIGSS 2020 summer school will go virtual this year. The deadline for abstract submission is Wednesday 18th of July 2020 and authors will be notified by the 28th of July 2020.

BIGSS 2020 will include

  • Five day lectures by renowned researches (Details of topics given below)
  • Highly interactive online poster sessions
  • Live Q&A sessions within the web conferencing platform

The registration fees have been considerably reduced to enable remote access to the widest audience as possible, namely:

–   The registration fee for […]

2206, 2020

STARSTEM virtual plenary meeting

June 22nd, 2020|News, Plenary meeting, STARSTEM|

The STARSTEM team gathered online on the 11th and 12th of June for our sixth plenary meeting. Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 meant that we came together virtually for this bi-yearly meeting. Despite restrictions, it was a lively meeting that was facilitated by many cups of tea and coffee.

The meeting began with some positive well wishes from STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy, of TOMI-NUI Galway. Over the two day meeting, we discussed nanostar synthesis; the production of cell therapies within STARSTEM, including Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and the isolation of extracellular vesicles; the labelling of cell products; in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical work […]

2206, 2020

iThera Webinar: Multi-scale Clinical Optoacoustic Skin Imaging

June 22nd, 2020|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, Partner news|

STARSTEM partner, iThera Medical, is hosting a webinar on June 25th. The topic: Multi-Scale Clinical Optoacoustic Skin Imaging.

Dr Dinish U. S and Dr Chris Ho of the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) will present on the use of Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT) to study morphological and functional changes associated with skin cancers in 2D and 3D. They will also describe the use of high-resolution Raster Scanning Optoacoustic Mesoscopy (RSOM) as an investigative tool for inflammatory skin conditions as well as the outlook for OAI to aid clinicians in the diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of skin disease.

Date: June 25th, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM BST / […]

2005, 2020

iThera Webinar: Optoacoustics and Optical: Complementary Modalities for Molecular Imaging

May 20th, 2020|News, Partner news|


Both optoacoustic and optical imaging are biophotonic imaging technologies. While optoacoustic imaging yields information about light absorption from both endogenous tissue chromophores and optical contrast agents, optical imaging only provides information from extrinsically administered agents by means of light emission (fluorescence or bioluminescence). In terms of performance, optical imaging can serve as an easy-to-use screening tool with limited resolution and depth penetration, while optoacoustic imaging can probe biological questions in more detail and at greater depth. In this webinar, hear 10-minute presentations from three leading scientists who utilize both complementary imaging methods to study diseases on […]

605, 2020

STARSTEM publication news – Progenitor Cells Activated by Platelet Lysate in Human Articular Cartilage as a Tool for Future Cartilage Engineering and Reparative Strategies

May 6th, 2020|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Partner news, Publication, STARSTEM|

We are delighted to share a new STARSTEM publication – Progenitor Cells Activated by Platelet Lysate in Human Articular Cartilage as a Tool for Future Cartilage Engineering and Reparative Strategies. Several of our team members from the University of Genova recently published this article in Cells, an international peer-reviewed open access journal of cell biology, molecular biology, and biophysics.

Experimental design of cell cultures (articular chondrocytes (ACs) and chondro-progenitors (CPCs) from human articular cartilage biopsies. Figure 1. Experimental design of […]

505, 2020

Regenerative Medicine Network publishes EU-MSC2 meeting report featuring STARSTEM

May 5th, 2020|Partner news, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM results were presented at EU-MSC2, a bi-annual event, organized by the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands. The meeting assembles researchers, clinicians and cell product developers working within EU-sponsored research consortia, that focus on mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy for immune-related disorders and tissue regeneration. EU-MSC2, a much-anticipated event provides excellent opportunities for networking, exploring new funding opportunities and the dissemination of results contributing to MSC knowledge-sharing, research and development.

STARSTEM Coordinator Professor Martin Leahy, of TOMI, National University of Ireland Galway, talked about our project in his September 6, 2019 talk entitled:  […]

1504, 2020

iThera Medical’s MSOT demonstrates excellent visualization of lymphatic vessels at the bedside

April 15th, 2020|News, Partner news|

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, iThera Medical’s MSOT Acuity Echo system provided real-time three-dimensional (3D) imaging of lymphatic vessels. This is the first study to use MSOT with a handheld probe to assess lymphedema in patients. In this paper, Guido Giacalone and their team compared Indocyanine Green (ICG) lymphography, the traditional method for identification of lymphatic vessels, to MSOT 3D imaging.

Lymphedema is the long-term swelling of tissue, that normally affects the arms or legs and their extremities. It is a chronic condition that results from impaired lymph nodes – typically as […]

3003, 2020

STARSTEM publication news – The use of large animals to facilitate the process of MSC going from laboratory to patient—‘bench to bedside’

March 30th, 2020|Publication, STARSTEM|

Congratulations to Will Hotham and Frances Henson on their recent review paper, ‘The use of large animals to facilitate the process of MSC going from laboratory to patient—‘bench to bedside’‘.  The paper was recently published in the International Journal of Cell Biology and Toxicology.

The review illustrates how mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been translated to man through large animal models. Two very different examples were used— myocardial disease (where one gold standard large animal model has been used in one species to show efficacy) and osteoarthritis (where multiple species and models have been used). […]

1203, 2020

Our sister project EUPHORIA releases “MSOT to better monitor IBD” video

March 12th, 2020|Dissemination, News, Partner news, Related Project News|

Our “Related Project“, EUPHORIA ( has just released an explainer video.

EUPHORIA is an EU Horizon 2020 project (grant agreement No. 830965.) coordinated by our partners at iThera Medical GmbH. EUPHORIA project partners are creating a better, less invasive way to monitor and manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) using multispectral optoacoustic tomography technology (MSOT) specially adapted for this purpose.  This is a novel imaging process, combining lasers and ultrasound, with the promise of better diagnostic ability in IBD than current care. […]

903, 2020

Knowledge Transfer: iThera Medical visits U of Cambridge for MSOT training, March 2020

March 9th, 2020|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news|

The iThera MSOT Echo system was installed on February 12th, 2020 in the Barcroft Imaging Centre in West Cambridge. This system is a non-invasive optoacoustic imaging platform with the ability to take high-resolution optical imaging deep inside tissues. Within STARSTEM this means that healing can be tracked over time in a non-invasive way.

Dr Joshua Kaggie, University of Cambridge reports, “This was after a very hectic week, resulting in cancelled flights from Munich to London due to very bad weather!  Dr Thomas Sardella,

503, 2020

The STARSTEM 2020 newsletter is out 📣

March 5th, 2020|Dissemination, STARSTEM|

We are happy to share the next instalment in our newsletter series! Download the full newsletter or find previous versions on our media page.

Excerpt: STARSTEM is addressing major technology gaps to enable imaging of stem cells at clinically relevant depths. Our nanostar-enhanced multi-modal imaging approach will enable us to detect stem cell engraftment and tissue repair, and thus their activity and efficacy as a therapy.

We do this by using nanoparticles with novel optical properties. Gold nanostars will be attached to bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs) prior to their administration in a joint affected with osteoarthritis. We […]

203, 2020

Upcoming Event! Imaging of atoms and anatomy with Magnetic Resonance Imaging

March 2nd, 2020|Dissemination, STARSTEM|


📌 Register now to learn about the physics behind MRI and hear how we use MRI in STARSTEM.
🔬 Cambridge Science Festival @camscience
📍 Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Robinson Way
🗓️ 22 March 13:15 GMT
📋 Learn more and register

Dr Martin Graves, Dr Joshua Kaggie and Dr Ferdia Gallagher, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, discuss the physics behind Magnetic Resonance Imaging. They show how these principles are used to image human anatomy and detect disease and how […]

1702, 2020

STARSTEM Research Presented at Photonics West in San Francisco

February 17th, 2020|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news|

STARSTEM Coordinator Prof. Martin Leahy, researcher Dr Sergey Alexandrov and PhD students Aaron Croke and Soorya James, along with other members from the TOMI research group at NUI Galway, presented their research at the Photonics West conference in the Moscone Conference Centre in San Francisco from the 1st to the 6th of February, 2020.

On Sunday, Prof. Martin Leahy gave a talk on the heart rate app, “Heart rate app at 10: How to write a biophotonics app that reaches more than 500 million people”, that was developed previously by the group and how it has impacted 10 years on from its […]

1501, 2020

STARSTEM meets at the Technical University of Munich

January 15th, 2020|Dissemination, Partner news, Plenary meeting, STARSTEM|

The STARSTEM team gathered in Munich on the 9th and 10th of January to mark the mid-way point of the project. The Technical University of Munich hosted the meeting at TranslaTUM in Munich, Germany. We are now two years into a four-year project.

The meeting began with a warm welcome from STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy, of TOMI-NUI Galway. Over the two day meeting, the team discussed scale-up of our nanostar synthesis from small laboratory volumes to large batch production; the production of cell therapies within STARSTEM, including Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and the isolation of extracellular […]

1112, 2019

STARSTEM research presented at UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles meeting in London

December 11th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news|

STARSTEM PI Dr Frances Henson and University of Cambridge PhD student William Hotham presented at the UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles (UKEV) meeting on December 9th and 10th, 2019. On the first day, Fran presented: “Extracellular Vesicles for therapeutic use”. Will’s talk was titled: “Comparing Extracellular Vesicles produced by Bone Marrow Mesenchymal stromal cells of Various species and showing interspecies uptake”. The two-day meeting was held at the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Will reports: “On the second day I presented my work in a “lightning talks” session […]
2611, 2019

STARSTEM Research presented by REMEDI NUI Galway Researchers at RESTORE Horizon meeting, Berlin

November 26th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News|

A poster entitled: Investigation of Nanostar-Labeled Mesenchymal stem cells for in vivo Cell Tracking in Osteoarthritis using Optoacoustic Imaging depicting work by Niamh Duffy, Georgina Shaw, Declan Byrnes, Soorya James. Martin Leahy and Mary Murphy was presented at the RESTORE: 1st Advanced Therapies Science meeting in Berlin, Germany held on November 25 and 26, 2019.

Prof Mary Murphy, of REMEDI, NUI Galway states that the poster gathered a lot of interest at the meeting.


1211, 2019

STARSTEM presented at OCT Workshop at Interphotonics 2019 meeting in Turkey

November 12th, 2019|Uncategorised|

Dr Sergey Alexandrov of  TOMI  NUI Galway presented STARSTEM during an invited talk during an OCT workshop at the Interphotonics 2019 meeting in Antalya, Turkey. Sergey’s talk, “Visualization of sub-micron structure using nano-sensitive optical coherence tomography”was delivered on November 5, 2019. Approximately 40 people attended Sergey’s presentation.

This 2nd International Conference on Photonics Research: Interphotonics 2019 took place from November 4th-9th. Interphotonics 2019 is a global forum for researchers and engineers to present and discuss recent innovations and new techniques in Photonics Research.

111, 2019

Two STARSTEM PIs present at the nTRACK Project Open Day, Cambridge

November 1st, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news|

STARSTEM PIs Dr Mary Murphy and Prof Martin Leahy of REMEDI and TOMI at NUI Galway were two of the invited speakers at the nTRACK Project Open Day 2019 meeting in Cambridge, the UK on October 30th 2019. See the meeting agenda here. Approximately sixty invited researchers were in attendance. Participants were by and large engaged in research related to the nTRACK project.

nTRACK received funding from the same “Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology” (NMBP-2017) EU work programme as STARSTEM. The project uses mouse, rat […]

3010, 2019

Interview with the author: Spatial frequency domain correlation mapping OCT for nanoscale structural characterization

October 30th, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, Publication, STARSTEM|

We asked Sergey Alexandrov, lead author of the STARSTEM publication Spatial frequency domain correlation mapping optical coherence tomography for nanoscale structural characterization about their recent Applied Physics Letters Journal article. Here is Sergey’s interview:

What were you aiming to find out in this publication?

Development of the new technologies for visualization of the sub-micron structure with nanoscale sensitivity to structural changes.

Why does this research need to be done?

For both the fundamental study of biological processes and early diagnosis of pathological processes, information about nanoscale tissue structure is crucial. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly evident that 2D biology […]

2310, 2019

Dr Frances Henson, Uni of Cambridge presents STARSTEM research at ICRS meeting in Vancouver

October 23rd, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, News|

At the recent International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society meeting (ICRS) held in Vancouver, Canada 4-9th October 2019, Dr Frances M.D. Henson, University of Cambridge was an invited speaker
( and gave a talk entitled ‘Best large animal models for cartilage repair research’.

Dr Frances Henson, University of Cambridge

Fran comments: “Our poster ‘In vivo MRI tracking of autologous mesenchymal stem cells in an ovine osteochondral model ‘ won one of only 2 Certificates of Merit so we were very pleased with […]

2309, 2019

ICTON 2019 proceedings feature STARSTEM research

September 23rd, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news, Publication, STARSTEM|

On September 19, 2019, The International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks (ICTON) published “Label Free Ultra-Sensitive Imaging with Sub-Diffraction Spatial Resolution”. This research carried out by STARSTEM’s NUI Galway-TOMI researchers was presented at ICTON 2019. This was the 21st such meeting and it took place July 9th- 13th in Angers, France.
The NUI Galway-TOMI paper is available at IEEE-Xplore Digital Library
2309, 2019

Partners iThera Medical host Optoacoustic Imaging Meeting in Essen

September 23rd, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news|

STARSTEM partners iThera Medical is hosting a one-day event: Optoacoustic Imaging Meeting 2019 at the University Hospital Essen in Germany on November 14, 2019. Enjoy a day of scientific talks on breakthrough research facilitated by iThera’s optoacoustic imaging systems. The meeting will run from 10:30- 17:30 and an evening reception will follow.

Registration is free.

View the meeting agenda and speakers’ list here.

Register here.


1809, 2019

The first STARSTEM Publication from NUI Galway- TOMI team

September 18th, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Publication|

Congratulations to STARSTEM Coordinator Martin Leahy and Sergey Alexandrov of TOMI at NUI Galway on the publication of their study entitled: Spatial frequency domain correlation mapping optical coherence tomography for nanoscale structural characterization in Applied Physics Letters (Appl. Phys. Lett. 115, 121105 (2019)). The open-access paper appeared online on 16 September 2019.

ABSTRACT Most of the fundamental pathological processes in living tissues exhibit changes at the nanoscale. Noninvasive, label-free detection of structural changes in biological samples pose a significant challenge to both researchers and healthcare professionals. It is highly desirable to be able […]

609, 2019

Congratulations to Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, TUM

September 6th, 2019|Partner news, University News|

STARSTEM PI Vasilis Ntziachristos, Chair of Biological Imaging at the Technical University of Munich has been awarded the Chair for International d’Excellence Blaise Pascal by the Régione Ile-de-France. Vasilis is a world-leading expert in optical imaging technologies with a focus on advancing optical and optoacoustic imaging techniques for biomedical discovery with a strong drive toward clinical translation.

The aim of the Chaires d’Excellence International program is to attract foreign and expatriate researchers to France by offering them, with the help of host organizations, substantial resources to carry out an ambitious project with visible impact and spin-offs for research and society.

Congratulations Vasilis!!

1208, 2019

Coordinator Leahy presents STARSTEM to AFSIN Network in Ghana

August 12th, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy, TOMI-NUI Galway was an invited speaker at the AFSIN Workshop at the University of the Cape Coast in Ghana. Martin delivered 16 talks in total to a group of 42 PhD students and 8 professors hailing from Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Burkina Faso.

One of the sixteen talks that Martin facilitated was a dedicated STARSTEM lecture on 23 July 2019.

The African Spectral Imaging Network (AFSIN) is a collaboration between physicists in eight African countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal and Togo) and one Asian country (Sri Lanka). The […]

908, 2019

New STARSTEM poster page!

August 9th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Partner news, STARSTEM, Uncategorised|

Niamh Duffy discusses her poster, “NanoSTARS Imaging for Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritic Joints”, at TERMIS-EU 2019.

We have just uploaded the posters from our time at TERMIS-EU 2019 in Rhodes, Greece.

Check out our new project poster page where you can download a PDF version of the posters presented at the event!








2407, 2019

Sergey Alexandrov, TOMI-NUI Galway presents STARSTEM research at ICTON 2019 in Angers, France

July 24th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Partner news|

Dr Sergey Alexandrov of TOMI-NUI Galway gave an invited talk at the ICTON 2019 conference in Angers, France. ICTON 2019 took place from July 9th-13th 2019. At the 3rd Workshop on Label-Free Super-Resolution Imaging and Sensing, Sergey’s talk entitled “Label free ultra-sensitive imaging with sub-diffraction spatial resolution” was delivered. This research presentation encompassed the work of an international collaboration of Sergey Alexandrov1, Nandan Das1, James McGrath1, Peter Owens2, Colin J. R. Sheppard3, Francesca Boccafoschi4, Cinzia Giannini5, Teresa Sibillano5, Hrebesh Subhash6, and Martin Leahy1 .

ICTON is the International Conference on Transparent Optical […]

2207, 2019

Congratulations to TUM who remain in top form as a “University of Excellence”

July 22nd, 2019|Dissemination, News, Partner news|

In December 2018, there was the inspection of Technical University of Munich (TUM) premises for a substantial award based on excellence criteria initiative. A federal and state-level inspection to designate the “University of Excellence” status has been ongoing annually in Germany since 2006.

To showcase TUM’s research portfolio this year, a STARSTEM exhibit was prepared where their role within the project and multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) were highlighted.

It was announced on 17 July 2019, that TUM received the award of “University of Excellence” yet again, for the third […]

1807, 2019

ESRs present their research at the University of Cambridge STARSTEM Review meeting

July 18th, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News, Plenary meeting, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) representing all partner institutions created posters based on their most recent work. Posters were displayed for presentation to all partners and the reviewers at the plenary meeting held on July 12th, 2019. The gathering was graciously hosted by our partners at the University of Cambridge.

Project Manager Dr Victoria Macarthur, Pintail Limited comments:

“Congratulations are due to our ESRs who put on a fantastic poster session – it even helped researchers from outside of their own institutes to get a better insight into what the rest of the team is doing. Finally, big thanks […]

1707, 2019

STARSTEM Coordinator Leahy reflects on the STARSTEM Review, University of Cambridge

July 17th, 2019|Dissemination, Plenary meeting, STARSTEM, University News|

The STARSTEM consortium gathered from all points in Europe at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. for the fourth plenary meeting on July 12th, 2019. Alongside the meeting where updates and future plans were discussed, a thorough project review took place.

STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy, TOMI-NUI Galway shares his reflections on the meeting below. The visiting research groups were particularly struck by the sight of Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree on campus.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree

“As a young physics student with an interest in medicine, […]

1507, 2019

CE Mark awarded to iThera Medical’s MSOT Acuity optoacoustic imaging system

July 15th, 2019|News, Partner news|

iThera Medical was recently awarded the CE Mark for its MSOT Acuity imaging system, indicating conformity with health, safety and environmental protection for medical devices sold in Europe. This non-invasive, novel technology allows radiation- and contrast-agent-free imaging of soft tissue. It combines laser excitation and ultrasound detection for the analysis of haemoglobin, lipids, collagen and other chromophores in tissue.

The Acuity system is used for optoacoustic imaging without ultrasound. iThera Medical has now started working on the certification of the Acuity Echo system which will provide both optoacoustic and […]

307, 2019

STARSTEM PhD student Will Hotham, CAM wins best presentation award

July 3rd, 2019|Dissemination, News, Partner news|

The University of Cambridge Division of Trauma and Orthopedics Surgery Away Day was held on June 27, 2019, at Homerton College Cambridge. There, STARSTEM PhD student Will Hotham was awarded a prize for the best 3-minute presentation pitched for a lay audience. Will’s talk which was titled: “What did the stem cell say to the chondrocyte…..” where he discussed how extracellular vesicles (EVs) can allow communication between stem cells and chondrocytes. Will, pictured below, reports on the experience:

Pictured: Will Hotham, University of Cambridge PhD student

You have three minutes to present your work to a […]

2406, 2019

“Optoacoustic guidance for stem cell therapy” at ECBO 2019, Munich

June 24th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, News, Partner news|

STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy of TOMI-NUI Galway presented: “Optoacoustic guidance for stem cell therapy” today, June 24, 2019, at the ECBO 2019 meeting in Munich. The ECBO, European Conference on Biomedical Optics, assembles scientists, engineers, and clinicians who work with optics and photonics to solve problems in biomedicine.

Approximately 90 delegates attended Martin’s session which was part of the 3-day conference spanning 23-27 June 2019 in the International Congress Center in Munich. Download the technical programme for the ECBO meeting here.

1906, 2019

Save the date: iThera hosts Optoacoustic Imaging Meeting, Essen, November 14, 2019

June 19th, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, Partner news|

Mark your calendars! The University Hospital, Essen Germany is the venue for the 2019 Optoacoustic Imaging (OAI) Meeting 2019 hosted by STARSTEM partner iThera Medical. The meeting consists of scientific talks, an opportunity to learn about new imaging technologies forthcoming from iThera’s pipeline, and time to network.

Date: November 14th, Essen, Germany

Time: 10am – 5pm plus dinner & drinks

Location: University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstraße 55, 45122 Essen

Overall, this meeting will be a great opportunity to learn more about Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT) and Raster Scanning Optoacoustic Mesography (RSOM), iThera’s novel imaging technologies. If […]

706, 2019

STARSTEM researchers present their latest work at TERMIS-EU 2019, Rhodes

June 7th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, News, Partner news, University News|

STARSTEM researchers from NUI Galway and Universitá Degli Studi di Genova presented their latest work at TERMIS-EU 2019. This meeting was held from the 27th- 31st of May 2019 on Rhodes, Greece. This year’s theme was ‘Tissue Engineering Therapies: From concept to clinical translation and commercialisation’.

Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy, TOMI-NUI Galway chaired Session 6, Microscopy and Imaging. Also, Martin delivered an invited talk entitled Nanosensitive imaging of tissue constructs and cells on May 27, 2019. TERMIS-EU offered the opportunity to attend several interesting talks; one highlight for Martin was that by Jeanne Volatron (Paris Diderot University) titled Life cycle of inorganic nanoparticles in the […]

2905, 2019

Vipal Gujrati, TUM presents STARSTEM and his latest work at Streetlife Festival, Munich

May 29th, 2019|Dissemination, News, Partner news, STARSTEM, University News|

STARSTEM partners at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) organized an exhibit at the public Streetlife Festival in Munich which took place on May 25 and 26, 2019. At the festival, STARSTEM’s Dr Vipul Gujrati presented his work on biological nanoparticles for theranostic application which was published in Nature Communications earlier this year. The title of Vipul’s presentation was “Bioengineered Cells Derived Vesicles for Theranostic Application”





Researchers from different areas (Mechanical engineering, Astrology, Biomedical etc) were invited to present their work and participate in a question-and-answer session. The purpose of the festival is to […]

105, 2019

Partner news: iThera Medical Announces Strategic Partnership to Enhance in vivo Imaging Capabilities with MSOT

May 1st, 2019|News, Partner news|

On 30 April 2019,  STARSTEM partner iThera Medical GmbH and Invicro LLC, a Konica Minolta company, announced a unique partnership with the placement of the MSOT inVision platform in Invicro’s in vivo laboratory at its headquarters in Boston, USA. The companies will come together to uniquely offer pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic sponsors services from the optoacoustic platform that will identify and quantify disease-related biomarkers at both a molecular and anatomical level through pre-clinical full body tomographic scans.

Invicro was founded in 2008 to improve the role and function of imaging in translational drug discovery and development across all therapeutic areas. Today, Invicro’s multi-disciplinary team provides solutions to pharmaceutical and […]

2703, 2019

STARSTEM researchers exhibit at popular Cambridge Science Festival

March 27th, 2019|Dissemination, University News|

Will Hotham, PhD candidate at the  University of Cambridge in the Division of Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital explains the STARSTEM exhibition at the recent Cambridge Science Festival which ran from March 11-24, 2019. PI Dr Frances Henson, Mr Stephen McDonnell, Dr Joshua Kaggie and William Hotham created and managed the public exhibition: FROM STEEL TO STEM CELLS: THE FUTURE OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY?

“I would say there were about 1,000 people who attended our stall. This is a broad estimate. Everyone seemed very interested! We explained using a STARSTEM poster that outlines the project work. The parents/adults seemed very interested in the work. We asked […]

1103, 2019

Partner publication: Vipul Gujrati publication on Cancer Imaging in Nature Communications

March 11th, 2019|Dissemination, STARSTEM|

Dr Vipul Gujrati and the team at TUM have published an article on optoacoustic imaging using bioengineered bacterial vesicles as a contrast enhancement medium.

The team used outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), which are vesicles, or structures, that are released from the bacteria. They are released from the outer membranes of bacteria and can transport various cargo such as proteins, enzymes, and toxins, and signaling molecules, and they enable bacteria to communicate with the environment around them.

In their paper, entitled “Bioengineered bacterial vesicles as biological nano-heaters for optoacoustic imaging“, Vipul’s team customised OMVs to carry a package that could help enhance optoacoustic imaging […]

603, 2019

L’Università di Genova PIs organise “Research Challenges for Clinical Application of MSCs” meeting

March 6th, 2019|Dissemination, News, STARSTEM, University News|

As part of the Italian Mesenchymal Stem Cell Group (GISM) at the University of Genoa, our STARSTEM partners Drs Milena Mastrogiacomo and Chiara Gentili, and their colleagues are organizing a conference on the 4th and 5th of April 2019: “Research Challenges for Clinical Application of MSCs”. The two-day meeting will take place at the Centro Congressi IST Nord – Ospedale Policlinico San Martino in Genoa.

The Italian Mesenchymal Stem Cell Group (GISM) was formed in October 2014 by 53 founding members, most of whom are […]

2802, 2019

Knowledge Transfer: Defining requirements for multimodality co-registration techniques

February 28th, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News|

In order to start developing multimodal co-registration techniques, optoacoustic and MRI data were acquired for the same object.

At iThera in Munich, Germany on the 14th of February 2019, Dr Thomas Sardella, Senior Application Specialist at iThera Scientific (ItS) met with Drs Vipul Gujrati and Jaber Malekzadeh from the Technical University of Munich, (TUM).  The purpose was to image Thomas’ hand using an Acuity imaging system and an MSOT inVision 256-TF small animal imaging system. They used multiple hand and transducer orientations. Both optoacoustic imaging systems (Acuity and inVision) have a concave transducer array which acquires optoacoustic signals and naturally co-registers reflective ultrasound […]

2702, 2019

STARSTEM at the Cambridge Science Festival 2019

February 27th, 2019|Dissemination, News, University News|

University of Cambridge researchers will showcase STARSTEM at the Cambridge Science Festival which runs from March 11- 24th 2019. PI Dr Frances Henson, Dr Joshua Kaggie and William Hotham have created and will manage the public exhibition on Sunday, March 24th entitled: FROM STEEL TO STEM CELLS: THE FUTURE OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY?

Dr Frances Henson is an orthopaedic veterinary surgeon and expert in large-animal studies at the University of Cambridge. Dr Joshua Kaggie is an MRI physicist at the University of Cambridge who is developing novel imaging biomarkers for osteoarthritis. Will Hotham is a PhD student working […]

1302, 2019

STARSTEM shines at SPIE Photonics West meeting in San Francisco

February 13th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News|

Dr Sergey Alexandrov and Prof Martin Leahy, both of the Tissue Optics & Microcirculation Imaging Group, (TOMI) NUI Galway presented STARSTEM findings at the International Society for Optics and Photonics’ BiOS 2019 meeting which took place  2-7 February 2019 in San Francisco, USA.

  • STARSTEM  – optimizing nanostars for stem cell tracking presented by Martin J. Leahy on 2 February 2019
  • Functional imaging with light and sound including microcirculation presented byMartin J. Leahy on 2 February 2019
  • Ultra-sensitive label free imaging below the resolution limit presented by Sergey Alexandrov on 3 February 2019 
  • Label free imaging and sub-voxel sensing of biological structures presented byMartin J. Leahy on 3 February 2019

With 2,500 papers and […]

1202, 2019

STARSTEM plenary meeting hosted by ICFO, Barcelona

February 12th, 2019|Plenary meeting, STARSTEM|

The STARSTEM partners assembled in Barcelona for a plenary meeting hosted by PI Prof. Romain Quidant and his team at ICFO. The meeting was held on January 10th and January 11th 2019.

Coordinator Martin Leahy of NUI Galway and Romain Quidant opened the meeting, welcoming the team and highlighting the achievements of the team over the first year of the project.

STARSTEM team meets at ICFO, Barcelona January 10 and 11The STARSTEM nanostar has been optimized to help ensure that it will work as a suitable and effective contrast agent when tracking our cells. Batches of […]

3101, 2019

Coordinator Leahy inspires the next generation of stem cell scientists with a multidisciplinary approach

January 31st, 2019|Dissemination, Knowledge transfer, News|

On Thursday afternoon, 31 January 2019, Prof Martin Leahy, STARSTEM Coordinator facilitated an interactive lecture at the National University of Ireland Galway which was arranged as part of a series of inspiring talks for the Master of Sciences in Cellular Manufacturing and Therapy course. Martin’s talk: “STARSTEM: Reaching for the stars to drive stem cell therapy” was well-received and more than 50 staff and students attended the talk. Dami Arosomade, a student in and Class Representative of the MSc in Cellular Manufacturing and Therapy course remarked: “His lecture was very enlightening and provided a deeper insight into the role […]

2801, 2019

Sergey Alexandrov presents STARSTEM at MSI 2019, Dublin

January 28th, 2019|Conference presentation, Dissemination, News|

NUI Galway TOMI researcher Dr Sergey Alexandrov presented at the Microscopy Society of Ireland 2019 meeting which took place at the University College Dublin on January 15th and 16th, 2019. The body of work presented by Sergey at this annual meeting included STARSTEM findings. The presentation was entitled “Label free microscopy with sub-diffraction resolution and nano-sensitivity” with authorship by Sergey Alexandrov,1,* James McGrath,1 Colin J. R. Sheppard,2 Francesca Boccafoschi,3 Cinzia Giannini,4 Teresa Sibillano,4 Hrebesh Subhash,5Josh Hogan,6 and Martin Leahy.1

The MSI Winter Symposium 2019 brought together microscopy users and specialists across a broad spectrum of the life, physical, and instrumental sciences from […]

1701, 2019

U of Cambridge’s Josh Kaggie on Festival of Genomics’ life sciences data handling panel

January 17th, 2019|Dissemination, News, University News|

On Thursday, January 24, 2019, STARSTEM researcher Dr Joshua Kaggie of the University of Cambridge will participate in a panel discussion at the Festival of Genomics in London, U.K. The 30-minute session entitled ‘The Rapidly Emerging Role of AI in Handling Increased Volumes of Unstructured Data’ will take place at the Business Design Centre, Theatre 3 from 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM. It is expected that more than 2000 people […]
901, 2019

Coordinator Martin Leahy, NUI Galway presents STARSTEM in India

January 9th, 2019|Dissemination, News, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Lab at the National University of Ireland Galway was an invited lecturer at the Indian Institute of Science Education And Research Kolkata, and at the Cochin University of Science & Technology (CUSAT). Martin’s talk was entitled “Reaching for the stars to drive stem cell therapy”. The two lectures took place in January 2019 in Mohanpur, West Bengal and in Kuttanad, Alleppey, India, respectively. More than 170 members of the scientific research community were in attendance.

1212, 2018

STARSTEM findings presented by Prof Leahy, NUI Galway at ICOBSI, Florence

December 12th, 2018|Conference presentation, Dissemination, News, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM Coordinator Prof Martin Leahy of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Lab at the National University of Ireland Galway will deliver a plenary talk at the International Conference on Bio-Sensing and Imaging (ICOBSI). The meeting is taking place on the 17th-19th of December 2018 in Florence, Italy. This meeting is supported by NANOMAX.

Martin’s talk entitled “Imaging strategies for stem cell tracking in large animals and humans”will be part of the “Molecular & cellular imaging and mechanisms” session on Tuesday, the 18 of December, 09.00-11.00.

3010, 2018

Knowledge transfer: Surgical techniques from U of Cambridge to TUM

October 30th, 2018|Knowledge transfer, News|

Two researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) recently visited the University of Cambridge’s Division of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery (DTOS) in the Department of Surgery, Department of Veterinary Medicine to learn new surgical techniques as part of the STARSTEM project.  From left to right, TUM researchers Uwe Klemm and Pia Anzenhofer in the laboratory with Will Hotham, PhD student from the University of Cambridge.

While in Cambridge, Pia and Uwe also visited The Eagle pub where the double helix structure of DNA was confirmed and tried fish and chips for the first time. Unfortunately, they also got the best of the English […]

310, 2018

iThera’s MSOT technology: Optoacoustics in Medicine

October 3rd, 2018|Knowledge transfer, News|

Prof Malini Olivo’s group in A*STAR , Singapore, produced an informative video to highlight their recent research activities with iThera’s Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT) and Raster-Scanning Optoacoustic Mesoscopy (RSOM) technologies. The short film was released in conjunction with the announcement of the Singapore BioImaging Consortium (SBIC)iThera Medical Imaging Centre partnership. The video demonstrates several case studies using optoacoustics which will also be adopted within STARSTEM to monitor tissue healing.

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We congratulate our partner iThera Medical on the opening of the joint Singapore BioImaging Consortium (SBIC)iThera Medical Imaging Centre!

SBIC is one of ten research institutes of the Biomedical Research Council […]

2609, 2018

PI Prof Frank Barry gives keynote at Zoobiquity Colorado conference

September 26th, 2018|Conference presentation, STARSTEM|

On October 5 and 6, 2018, Zoobiquity Colorado: Connecting Human and Animal Health through Regenerative Medicine will take place. Here, STARSTEM PI Prof Frank Barry of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at the National University of Ireland Galway will deliver a keynote presentation, ‘Cell Strategies for Arthritic Disease’.

Zoobiquity Colorado aims to uncover the astonishing connection between human and animal health by highlighting laboratory and clinical research of human and veterinary investigators and fostering future collaboration across disciplines.

409, 2018

Prof Frank Barry takes STARSTEM on the road

September 4th, 2018|Conference presentation, Knowledge transfer, STARSTEM|

STARSTEM PI Professor Frank Barry of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has had a busy 2018 thus far. He has organised and been invited to present at several conferences, provide keynote talks and lead seminars around the world raising the profile of STARSTEM internationally within academic and industrial circles.

Here is a list of events:

Speaker on August 17 2018: Georgia Tech CMaT Annual Retreat, Madison WI, USA
Invited Seminar on July 23 2018: Colorado State University Veterinary Orthopaedic Centre Fort Collins, CO, USA
Keynote Speaker on July 6 2018: Whitaker Bioengineering Symposium, Galway, Ireland
Keynote Speaker; Conference and workshop organiser on June 28 2018: CALIN […]

108, 2018

STARSTEM consortium meets in Genoa

August 1st, 2018|Plenary meeting, STARSTEM|


All STARSTEM partners assembled in Genoa for a 6-month meeting hosted by PIs Dr Chiara Gentili of the University of Genoa (UNIGE) and Dr Milena Mastrogiacomo of Biorigen (BIO). The meeting was held over 2 days, July 19th and 20th, 2018.

New team members Jaber Malekzadeh Najafabadi (TUM), Arantxa Albornoz (ICFO, and Marta Nardini and Simonetta Carluccio (both from UNIGE) were present and introduced to the partners.

Progress updates and future plans were presented. Action points were reiterated by Coordinator Martin Leahy of NUI Galway and the meeting concluded with an open discussion about the next steps to be taken. ICFO have agreed to host the next meeting in […]

2106, 2018


June 21st, 2018|Conference presentation, Knowledge transfer, STARSTEM, University News|

As an invited speaker, NUI Galway Regenerative Medicine Institute PI Mary Murphy presented STARSTEM at the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices annual retreat which took place on June 20, 2018, in Naas, Co Kildare in Ireland.

CÚRAM supports industry from basic scientific research, through translational preclinical and clinical development, into regulatory and commercialisation readiness. The CÚRAM Centre is coordinated at NUI Galway but has partners spanning Ireland.

1206, 2018

Dr Joshua Kaggie presents STARSTEM studies at ISMRM-ESMRMB meeting in Paris

June 12th, 2018|Conference presentation, STARSTEM|






Dr Joshua Kaggie, a post-doctoral researcher, of the University of Cambridge will present a large body of research at The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)-  European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) conference in Paris which runs from 16-21 of June 2018. Dr Kaggie is an author or co-author of eleven accepted abstracts (four of which are talks), joint with Dr Frances Henson and Dr Martin Graves of the University of Cambridge.

Notably, Josh’s abstract entitled “Magnetic Resonance Tracking of Iron-Labeled Stem Cells After Osteochondral Defect in Ovine Model” presents results […]

105, 2018

STARSTEM is presented at SPIE Photonics West Exhibition 2018, San Francisco

May 1st, 2018|Conference presentation|

VJ Raghavan of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Lab at the National University of Ireland Galway presented STARSTEM at the SPIE Bios Photonics West conference which ran from 27 January- 1 February 2018 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, USA.

Photonics West is the largest laser, photonics, and biomedical optics conference. This year it attracted 23,000 attendees, six well-known symposia, and 4,900 R&D presentations which covered a wide range of papers on biomedical optics, biophotonics, translational research, industrial lasers, 3D printing, optoelectronics and microfabrication.

Read more about VJ’s presentation entitled “Plasmonic gold […]

1904, 2018

ICFO- NUIG TOMI knowledge transfer in Barcelona: not all fine weather and paella

April 19th, 2018|Knowledge transfer, STARSTEM|

‘Hola, ¿cómo estás?’, ‘muy bien’, ‘buenos dias’, ‘buenas noches’….

With such a “wide range” of Spanish vocabulary, I was excited when we partnered with ICFO (The Institute of Photonic Sciences) for the STARSTEM proposal. I knew, rather was hoping, I would get a chance to visit Barcelona to get a bit of much-needed Vitamin-D that is in “trophies won by the Liverpool FC in recent past”-level short supply in the soon-to-be European Capital of Culture, Galway City. Oh yea, also to get some work done at Romain’s (Quidant) Nano-optics lab!

What did I do there?
1801, 2018

STARSTEM Kick-Off Meeting

January 18th, 2018|STARSTEM|

STARSTEM kicks off in Galway

A two-day kick-off meeting took place on January 17th and 18th at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway’s north campus. The meeting was hosted by the project Coordinator, Prof. Martin Leahy and post-doctoral researcher V. J. Raghavan of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) group. All partner organizations were in attendance: the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, Universitá degli Studi di Genova, Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), University of Cambridge, Fundacio Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques (ICFO), Ithera Medical GmbH, Pintail Limited, and Biorigen SRL.

The STARSTEM team gathers at NUI Galway.

Herein, partners […]

1001, 2018

In the news: STARSTEM media coverage

January 10th, 2018|STARSTEM|

STARSTEM in the media

STARSTEM featured across Irish media in late November 2017, after securing funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020.  The project was featured on the web and in print after distribution of the NUIG press release (Irish Examiner, Irish Tech News, as well as multiple national newspapers) as well as on the EC Radio Ireland podcast.

Ruth Deasy of the EU Commission says the award is a major boost for the reputation of NUIG.

“NUIG will be leading a team of European universities at this cutting-edge project which is imaging for stem cell therapy, focusing very much on osteoarthritis in the […]

701, 2018

STARSTEM: A Novel Imaging Platform for Regenerative Medicine

January 7th, 2018|STARSTEM|

Welcome to the new STARSTEM website

The European Commission has awarded a €6 million project grant to our consortium, led by Professor Martin Leahy of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) group at NUI Galway, to develop a novel imaging platform for regenerative medicine. This new project will allow researchers and eventually, doctors, to detect and measure the healing effects of novel stem cell therapies, even where they occur under the skin.

Professor Martin Leahy, Coordinator of STARSTEM
and the Director of TOMI at NUI Galway.

Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies provide unique opportunities for treating a wide range […]

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