Navigation Links
EU grant for better monitoring of Crohn's disease using MRI

Colonoscopy is the standard intestinal examination for diagnosing and monitoring Crohn's disease. It is a stressful procedure in which a flexible tube fitted with a camera is passed into the large intestine. MRI scans are therefore often used as an alternative to monitor the course of the disease and how it is responding to treatment. TU Delft is joining six European partners from the academic world to develop an objective, quantitative method for assessing these MRI scans. The EU has awarded a grant of three million euros to this project, which goes by the name of VIGOR++. The researchers expect that this new method will enable doctors to more accurately determine the activity level of the disease over time and that it may lead to a reduction in the number of colonoscopies.

Autoimmune disease

Chronic diseases of the intestines are among the most widespread medical problems in the Western world. Over one million Europeans suffer from such a disease; in 700,000 cases it is diagnosed as an autoimmune condition called Crohn's disease. This chronic condition is characterised by alternating periods of increased and reduced disease activity. It is therefore important to regularly assess the stage of the disease in order to adjust the treatment accordingly.


In order to evaluate Crohn's disease, doctors ask their patients questions about their condition and carry out a colonoscopy, during which samples of tissue are removed (biopsy). However, the conclusions drawn from a patient's answers are not always sufficiently reliable. In addition, patients experience this procedure as highly stressful, since the large intestine first has to be cleared using laxatives and a flexible tube fitted with a camera is passed into the large intestine through the rectum. This makes the method less suitable for regular application for the purposes of monitoring.

MRI scans are therefore being used more frequently to assess the disease's level of activity. "The assessment of the MRI scans is not very objective at present," Jaap Stoker, Professor of Radiology at the University of Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre (AMC), points out. "Objective MRI assessment techniques will enable us to use MRI to better monitor the disease activity for Crohn's disease. This may among others have a beneficial effect on the side effects and costs resulting from long-term medicine use to treat the disease."


TU Delft is about to join forces with six European partners to develop a new assessment method in a project entitled VIGOR++. Researcher and project leader Dr Frans Vos, who works at TU Delft and the AMC explains: "We are going to investigate objective methods to quantitatively determine the severity of the disease using MRI scans. MRI images make it possible to measure the thickness of the intestinal wall, the degree of vascularization and to distinguish the various layers of the intestine. These are all indicators of the extent to which Crohn's disease is active. All that is required is the intravenous administration of a contrast medium." He continues "It's essentially an ICT project. After all, the basis is statistical pattern recognition. For that purpose one of the first things we need to do is analyse large quantities of MRI images."

Maximum score

Dr Vos is justifiably proud of the project. "We were awarded the maximum score possible in the EU assessment of our research proposal. In recent decades only one other EU project has received such a high score. This ensured that we were selected ahead of around 480 other proposals.

The consortium includes research groups which are specialised in radiology, medical image analysis, modelling, scientific visualisation methods, gastroenterology and commercial application. TU Delft has taken on a coordinating role in the consortium and is working together on this project with the AMC, University College London Hospitals, ETH Zurich, the Zuse Institute in Berlin and the British companies Biotroncis3D and Vodera.

The EU has made a grant of three million euros available for the VIGOR++ project (as part of its 7th Framework Programme). The total cost of the project will be four million euros.


Contact: Ilona van den Brink
Delft University of Technology

Related biology news :

1. BUSM awarded NIH grant to identify role of immune system in chronic inflammation, disease
2. University of Maryland shares NSF grant to study urban development impact
3. Dana-Farber receive $5.6 million grant to develop rapid countermeasures to infectious agents
4. Acceleron awarded $1.5 million grant from Muscular Dystrophy Association to support ACE-031
5. Penn Medicine researcher receives $6 million grant for cardiovascular disease study
6. Grants fund projects that will tackle Grand Challenges
7. Autism Speaks awards 21 new research grants funding
8. University of Illinois awarded National Science Foundation grant to mentor Latino students
9. CCNY professor gets grant to develop artificial blood
10. New NIH grant helps MU scientist get to the heart of muscular dystrophy
11. $4.3 million DARPA grant enables development of biological and chemical threat detector
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... They ... a complex biological network, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections ... Korkin, PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Wound Market with the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. ... for thrombin hemostats, absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 system ... experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of programming ... systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as with ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, ... Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS ... care professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering ... health care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: