Project overview

Project Title: Nanoplatforms for enhanced treatment of cancer by synergistically combined multiple NIR light-activated nanotherapies
Project code: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0837
Contract No.: 81/2017
Budget: 850.000 RON
Financing: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, UEFISCDI
Period: 30 months
Institution: Babes-Bolyai University, Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Bio-Nano-Sciences,
Center for Nanobiophotonics and Laser Microspectroscopy
Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Astilean Simion

Project Summary:

The investigation of complex nanoparticles exhibiting anticancer activity by integrating several functionalities into single nanoplatform with diagnostic, therapeutic and imaging capabilities, represents a hot research topic which is developing at the interface between physics, chemistry and materials science from one side and biology and medicine from other side. New nanotherapeutic strategies are being explored in the field of nanomedicine aiming at further enhancement of the potency and safety of cancer treatment. In recent years, our research group has provided several “proofs of concept” of therapeutic mechanisms based on plasmon-induced phothotermal therapy (PTT), photodynamic therapy  (PDT) and nanochemotherapy. In the current project we aim to go further and fabricate a new class of theranostic nanoplatforms to achieve increasing efficacy in cancer treatment by synergistic combination of multiple NIR light-activated nanotherapies. Actually the fabricated nanoplatforms will integrate both intrinsic therapeutic agents based on physical effect (plasmonic nanoparticles, graphene nanosheets or hybrids) and extrinsic therapeutical agents based on photo-bio-chemical effects (photosensitizers, chemotherapeutic drugs). The anticancer activities (heat generation, singlet oxygen generation, drug delivery, etc.) will be triggered under NIR light excitation. Several operational objectives are planned from nanoplatform preparation, characterization, cell-targeting, cell uptake, photothermal performance and singlet oxygen generation evaluation, performing informative measurements by multi-microscopy imaging - toward the final demonstration of synergistic anticancer activities. The expected outcome is highly significant for getting enhanced therapeutic efficacy with lower dose of photo sensitizer (for instance) and implicitly with lower potential side effects.