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Staffan Holmin's research group


The Staffan Holmin research group is a part of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and the Department of Neuroradiology at Karolinska University Hospital. The group is engaged in clinical and translational research on a wide variety of topics centered around modern neuroimaging, nuclear medicine, and image-guided vascular interventions.

Collaboration with Royal Institute of Technology

To enable technical development, we have extensive collaboration with researchers at the Department of Materials Science for prototyping and manufacture of novel endovascular equipment. We also have extensive collaboration with the research group Physics of Medical Imaging for the development of techniques in CT.


Clinical diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology

Clinical research is based at the Department of Neuroradiology at New Karolinska University Hospital. Special areas of interest include pediatric neuroradiology, technical development in computed tomography (CT) and digital subtraction angiography, catheter-based chemotherapy in pediatric retinoblastoma, and thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke.

Clinical and experimental radiochemistry

The work of prof emeritus Sharon Stone-Elander is continued in the group, where radiotracer development and validation, and positron emission tomography (PET) in animal models of stroke, inflammation and cancer are areas of study. The group also has a significant clinical responsibility of radiotracer production for Karolinska University Hospital as well as other hospitals in the region.  Examples of produced radiotracers and areas of study include: 18F-FDG (glucose metabolism), 11C-methionine (amino acids), 11C-acetate (fatty acids), 18F-NAF (skeletal diseases), 18F-FLT (cell proliferation), 18F-FMISO (hypoxia), 68Ga-DOTATOC (NET/somatostatin receptor), 68Ga-PSMA (prostate cancer).

Our research projects

  1. Exploration of “interventional nuclear medicine”, i.e. combination of endovascular intervention and nuclear medicine technology.

  2. Developing of new diagnostic and therapeutic radiotracers 

  3. Evaluations of tracer utilization and metabolism in vitro and ex vivo

  4. Pharmacokinetic evaluations of new PET imaging radiotracers in vivo in animal models of disease (cancer, brain, inflammation, apoptosis, hypoxia, cardiology) without and with therapeutic interventions

Experimental interventional radiology and imaging

At the KERIC core facility, preclinical and translational research is conducted using state-of-the-art imaging such as a full scale angiocatheterization lab for animal research, micro-PET for small animals, and high field 9.4T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). New devices and applications for endovascular interventional technique are explored.

Clinically relevant stroke model

We have developed an endovascular stroke (M2CAO) model in rat, using standard clinical equipment, wherein selective M2 segment occlusion is achieved and can be modulated with reperfusion to simulate thrombectomy. The model could be considered a successor to the filament MCAO model, but with greater control over infarct size and with preserved collateral circulation. The model is coupled to longitudinal MRI and PET imaging.

Trans-vessel wall technique

We have developed a specialized catheter system that enables direct transvascular access to tissue for deposition of cells or substances, without risk of bleeding. The system is compatible with standard endovascular equipment and enables effective minimally invasive cell transplantation.

Endovascular biopsy

We are developing new techniques and devices for endovascular biopsy of the vessel wall and endothelium, heart, and other organs. These devices aim to be less traumatic, and suitable for downstream analysis of tissues and single cells using modern molecular biology, such as RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq).

Selected Publications

Preserved Collateral Blood Flow in the Endovascular M2CAO Model Allows for Clinically Relevant Profiling of Injury Progression in Acute Ischemic Stroke.
Little P, Kvist O, Grankvist R, Jonsson S, Damberg P, Söderman M, et al
PLoS ONE 2017 ;12(1):e0169541

Patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage from vertebrobasilar dissection: treatment with stent-in-stent technique.
Bhogal P, Brouwer P, Söderqvist �, Ohlsson M, Andersson T, Holmin S, et al
Neuroradiology 2015 Jun;57(6):605-14

Superselective endovascular tissue access using trans-vessel wall technique: feasibility study for treatment applications in heart, pancreas and kidney in swine.
Grankvist R, Jensen-Urstad M, Clarke J, Lehtinen M, Little P, Lundberg J, et al
J. Intern. Med. 2019 Apr;285(4):398-406

Intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma in Sweden - evaluation of treatment efficacy and complications.
Radros J, All-Eriksson C, Pal N, Holm S, Seregard S, Söderman M, et al
Acta Ophthalmol 2018 Dec;96(8):e1040-e1041

Treatment response assessment with (R)-[CPAQ PET in the MMTV-PyMT mouse model of breast cancer.
Tegnebratt T, Lu L, Eksborg S, Chireh A, Damberg P, Nikkhou-Aski S, et al
EJNMMI Res 2018 Apr;8(1):25

Group members