Chalermchai Khemtong, Ph.D.

Chalermchai Khemtong
Chalermchai Khemtong, Ph.D.

My research is focused on myocardial metabolism in isolated rat hearts using hyperpolarized 13C NMR. Owing to the superb sensitivity of hyperpolarized NMR, in situ and real-time monitoring of myocardial metabolism of 13C-enriched substrates such as pyruvate is feasible. Using Langendorff setups, we are currently investigating myocardial metabolism of hyperpolarized 13C-enriched pyruvate in isolated rat hearts at different metabolic stages; i.e. normal versus stimulated.

The aim of this study is to establish a reliable and sensitive diagnostic tool to evaluate increased myocardial oxygen consumption, which is a common phenomenon in diseased hearts. Additionally, I am also interested in the development of hyperpolarized molecular imaging probes for the diagnosis and prognosis of cancers.  

Another area of my research involves the development of multifunctional nanoparticles as cancer molecular imaging probes. Nanoparticles offer several advantages over small molecular imaging agents, e.g., prolonged blood circulation times and improved tumor-targeting efficiencies.  

We are interested in polymeric nanoparticles that contain disease-specific targeting moieties and stimuli-responsive functionalities. Currently, we are engineering a number of nanoparticles to incorporate Gd complexes and a pH-sensitive functional group as MR contrast agents. The eventual goal of this research is to establish nanoscale contrast agents that are naturally “off” at physiological pH and can be specifically turned “on” by acidic pH present in most solid tumors. Successful development of these “smart” nanoparticles may potentially be used for the assessment of extracellular pH in tumors in vivo.

Research Interests

  • Myocardial metabolism by MRS                              
  • Hyperpolarized NMR
  • Stimulus-responsive contrast agents                       
  • Multifunctional nanoparticles


For publication information please view Dr. Khemtong's faculty profile.