MAGNIFYCO - Magnetic nanocontainers for combined hyperthermia and controlled drug release
The aim of this project is the assembly and the fabrication of a new generation of multifunctional nanostructures for performing combined hyperthermia and controlled drug release, specifically targeted to cancer cells. The “magnetic nanocontainers” we intend to develop can perform at the same time cell recognition, hyperthermia treatment, and, as a consequence of the heat and /or cell environment stimuli, the release of drug with high selectivity for ovarian carcinoma. These multifunctional tasks are made possible due to the inclusion of three main components: a) the magnetic nanoparticles, allowing detection by MRI, cancer treatment by hyperthermia and providing stimuli for drug release; b) the nanocontainers, which allow for drug encapsulation and protection from degradation, facilitate the release of the drug upon application of an external stimulus, such as heat, or an internal one, such as the acidic pH of the tumour cells; c) the antibody fragments attached to the surface of the magnetic nanocontainers to deliver them selectively to the ovarian cancer cells. The individual building blocks and their assemblies will be characterized with respect to physical, chemical, and biological features, followed by dissemination of the newly acquired knowledge. Cell culture experiments will allow to understand the performance of such nano-tools in vitro. Directed towards application in patients, in vivo animal studies will be carried out on the most successful magnetic nanocontainers. The objectives of this proposal cover a wide range of scientific fields, hence a truly interdisciplinary collaboration between chemists, physicists, and biologists is required. To this end, we propose a european network collaboration between academic partners, who will take care of the development of new solutions for nanofabrication, and industrial partners implied in the field of the proposed application who will evaluate/develop the materials and act as advisors for risks arising during the project.
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Italy (Coordinator)