Mimicking the nature to design and guide therapeutic nanoparticles
Title of the research project
MIMIC-KeY - A key to the rational design of extracellular vesicles mimicking nanoparticles
Bioengineering, Biophysics, Advanced materials, chemistry of materials, biology, translational medicine
A project dedicated to study and understand the extracellular vesicles intrinsic targeting capabilities in the case of tumor metastases, to take inspiration from their functioning mechanims and treat a rare bone disease.
Description of the research project
Being able to target a specific tissue or cell type is a fundamental challenge of targeted therapies such as drug delivery. Nature offers examples of selective targeting, such as cancer metastasis. Specific types of cancer metastasize selectively in determined organs, showing the ability of cancer to recognize and target tissue-specific features, thanks to intrinsic capabilities of extracellular vesicles.
MIMIC-KeY project will create artificial nanoparticles mimicking extracellular vesicles to obtain the capability to target a specific tissue. In particular, it takes inspiration from two cancer diseases that create metastasis in bone tissues: prostate cancer and multiple myeloma, with the objective of designing nanoparticles to transport and deliver drugs to fight a rare lysosomal metabolic bone diseases, pycnodysostosis. This disease is due to the lack of a specific enzyme and current treatments, based on the enzyme replacement therapies or new drug developments are ineffective because of frequent off-target effects and toxicity. The project will achieve this important knowledge and technology objectives through the collaborative work of an international and multidisciplinary consortium of partners, with competences in bioengineering, biophysics, chemistry, modelling, biology and translational medicine. The study will include an initial phase of testing the possible therapy.
Impact on society
MIMICK-KEY will bring new methods to realize nature inspired and mimetic bioparticles and their functionalities, with an important potential impact in the field of pharmaceutical industry and nanomedicine.
Working group @Polito
Valentina Cauda, Associate professor, project coordinator
Silvia Appendino, Postdoc
Bianca Dumontel, Postdoc
Sugata Barui, Postdoc
National and International partners
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Netherlands
Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Italy
Scuola Universitaria Professionale Della Svizzera Italiana, Swizerland
Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands
Fundacio Hospital Universitari Vall D'Hebron - Institut De Recerca, Spain
Oxford NanoImaging Ltd, United Kingdom
MIMIC-KeY project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 964386
- Budget: 2.902.000 euro
- Start date: 1/06/2021
- End date: 31/05/2025