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Macromolecular toolbox for biomedical applications

 

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PROJECT SUMMARY

 

This project is devoted to develop innovative macromolecular nanoparticulate toolbox system, consisting of a new generation self-organized polymer-based materials that could be used for biomedical applications in cancer, tuberculosis and inflammation treatment. It will exploit the expertise and complementarity of five well-established research groups, two Czech and three Norwegian.

The tools consist of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles. After characterization of the particles, their surface will be covered by a polymer that carries: (a) groups targeting specific receptors on theranostic target, (b) active therapeutic groups, (c) groups allowing complexation of the polymer to the nanoparticle. The size of the particles will be in the range 50-200 nanometres allowing advantage of the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Finally, the new systems will be tested for their anti-cancer activity and anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity using in vitro cell cultures and in vivo models of the diseases.

 

Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis belong to major causes of death up to recent days since the possibilities of treatment are still limited in many cases. Cancer treatment is still looking for more efficient ways of targeted drug delivery.

 

The research aims will address tuberculosis and cancer treatment in an innovative way by constructing nanoparticle-based delivery systems that can be tailored to a particular need of controlled drug release.

 

The project is expected to achieve the development of a unified platform that, thanks to its adaptability arising from its modular construction, will satisfy antagonist requirements for treatment of cancer and tuberculosis.

 

The project brings together synthetic and physical chemistry with biomedical research in a direct interaction, and is at the heart of the growing field of what is now called "translational medicine". It will use the complete flow of research from nanoparticle synthesis, chemical and physical characterization, in vitro biological testing using cell-based assays, and finally biological testing using animal models.

 

From a material point of view the beneficiaries of the project will be researchers and research institutions active in the biomedical field of treatment of tuberculosis, inflammation and cancer.

From the educational point of view the involved PhD students and young scientists will benefit from their participation to an international collaborative research.

 

The donor partners are the University of Oslo and the Oslo University Hospital. They provide part of the chemical syntheses and characterization, in vitro testing and in vivo testing on animal models.

 

The partnership will lead to establishing of a long-term durable cooperation between the four participating research institutions in the Czech Republic and Norway that will be ongoing after completion of the project and will expand the results obtained during the project.

This cooperation will have as a result the creation of nanostructures with unprecedented feasibility of fine-tuning such as adjustable size, temperature- and pH-sensitivity, suitable targeting moieties on the surface and ability to release active components in a controlled way. In addition to that, the same type of systems may be used also for simultaneous diagnostic imaging for therapeutic feedback allowing further customization of the therapy.