Jørgen Arendt Jensen and Erik V. Thomsen. Photo by Jesper Scheel

73 MDKK for ultrasound in 4D

Monday 21 Oct 19


Jørgen Arendt Jensen
Head of Section, Professor, Ph.D., Dr.Techn.
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 24


Erik Vilain Thomsen
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 57 66

Facts about ERC Synergy Grants

European Research Council Synergy Grants is awarded to small groups of excellent researchers.

It is the first time DTU receives ERC Synergy grants, which previously have been awarded three times (in 2012, 2013 and in 2018).

The grant is part of EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Jørgen Arendt Jensen and Erik Vilain Thomsen from DTU Health Tech receive the prestigious ERC Synergy grant, awarded to cross-disciplinary research projects. The project will be done in collaboration with Professor Michael Bachmann Nielsen from Rigshospitalet and Associate Professor Charlotte Mehlin Sørensen from Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of Copenhagen.

”The ERC Synergy grant provides us with a unique opportunity to do cross-disciplinary research. In collaboration with University of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet and DTU, we can develop unique methods, which can be translated from fundamental research to the clinic. It is otherwise very difficult to solve all the scientific challenges, and at the same time test them in realistic clinical conditions without a great and coordinated effort such as this”, Jørgen Arendt Jensen says.

In the project, the researchers will develop methods to monitor blood flow in the capillaries – the smallest blood vessels in the body. This will have great impact for diseases such as diabetes and cancer, where it for example will be possible to monitor the development of a tumor.

"The ERC Synergy grant provides us with a unique opportunity to do cross-disciplinary research"
Professor Jørgen Arendt Jensen

Enhanced imaging of ultrasound scans
In the project, with the acronym SURE, the researchers will make use of red blood cells to create three dimensional ultrasound images in high-resolution and in real time. This means that you can monitor red blood cells live, as they move around the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the body – red.), making it possible to very quickly create a very high-resolution image of all blood vessels in 3D. Examinations of these very delicate blood vessels are typically made by means of contrast fluid, which in relation to ultrasound is a cumbersome and slow procedure that takes up to 10 minutes. This new method will show the images immediately, when the doctor is scanning, several thousand times faster compared to using contrast fluids.

Ultrasound also has the benefit that there are no known side effects. Therefore, it can be used for all patients and in several sittings.


It is the hope of the researchers that the project will lead to a shift of paradigm in the scientific study, diagnosis and treatment of a number of different vascular diseases such as cancer and diabetes.


A collaboration project

The total grant for SURE amounts to 9.98 MEUR, almost 74 MDKK. From DTU, Professor Jørgen Arendt Jensen, DTU Health Tech, receives 4.5 MEUR, and Erik Vilain Thomsen, DTU Health Tech, receives 2.9 MEUR. Moreover, Professor Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Rigshospitalet, and Associate Professor Charlotte Mehlin Sørensen, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, have received part of the project grant. Read more about the contribution to the project in this news story from University of Copenhagen.

Listen to Jørgen Arendt Jensen and Erik V. Thomsen explain what they will do in the SURE project here:

News and filters

Get updated on news that match your filter.