Critically ill patients are susceptible to Acute Respiratory Distress System (ARDS). ARDS can occur as a result of numerous different causes, confers a high risk of death and resists the majority of pharmacological therapies tested to date. Current methods for diagnosis and stratification of severity of ARDS in patients are insufficient, with activation of host neutrophils implicated in the development of ARDS.

We set out to demonstrate that a bespoke chemical probe administered in very small doses directly into the distal lung can rapidly and accurately detect activated neutrophils, and hence could be used to diagnose, monitor and stratify patients who are critically ill. This study recruited 11 participants in ICU and a publication is underway.


We have performed a number of clinical studies using chemical Smartprobes, delivery technologies and repurposed drugs and our results can be found here:


Gram- negative bacterial imaging (BAC2):


Matrix metalloproteinase activity and pharmacological inhibition (FIB ONE and AZD1236):


Activated neutrophil imaging (NAP):

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