National project (2011-2015)

Magnetic and radionuclide labeled nanomaterials suitable for medical applications

Huge progress in nanoscience and nanotechnology has led to a development of new nanostructured materials with properties that promise breakthrough in a vast number of possible applications. Furthermore, it fostered the emergence of a new field, nanomedicine, with the potentials for providing revolutionary approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of some fatal diseases. The convenience of nanostructured materials for medical applications is based on their reduced dimensionality comparable with biological entities (cells, proteins, genes, etc.) so that treatment can be achieved directly at the cell and sub-cell (molecular) levels. Application of nanomaterials can be based either on their intrinsic physicochemical properties or on their suitability for further functionalization. In particular, nowadays nanomagnetism is at the forefront of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and in the field of nanomedicine, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are among the most promising nanomaterials for clinical diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Besides, large amount of research efforts are also aimed toward radionuclide labeled nanomaterials as both diagnostic and targeted therapeutical agents. From the above reasons the main objective of this project is the research on the magnetic and radionuclide labeled nanomaterials suitable for medical applications, including multifunctional nanomaterials based on the radionuclide labeled magnetic nanopaticles.

The project will be realized through the following workpackages:

  • Design of nanomagnetic materials for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic hyperthermia (MH);
  • Design of new radionuclide labeled nanostructures for diagnostics and targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) of malignant diseases;
  • Development of new radiopharmaceuticals based on nanostructured materials;
  • Research on multifunctional radionuclide labeled MNPs for simultaneous TRT – MRI and MH – TRT.

The main projected outcomes can be subdivided as:

  1. i) Results of basic research
  • Introduction of reliable methods for controlled MNPs synthesis and functionalization;
  • Identification of target candidates and suitable vectors for TRT.
  1. ii) Results of applied research
  • Synthesis of differently coated MNPs with targeted magnetic and biochemical characteristics;
  • Synthesis of different ferrofluids optimized for MRI and MH;
  • Development of radionuclide labeled vectors (functionalized NPs with different chelators and co-ligands).

iii) Preclinical testing of drug candidates

  • In vitro testing of toxicity of synthesized NPs in cultured immune cells;
  • In vivo studies of stability, biodistribution and therapeutic efficacy of functionalized radiolabeled NPs on small animals.