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Cientista com tubos de ensaio


Engineered nano-based device for glioblastoma multiforme therapy

Consortium Partners

This transnational consortium combines the expertise of 4 partners from 2 European and one associated country - Portugal, Denmark, and Norway

The leader of this consortium is a team from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP, Portugal). Partner 2 is the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S, Portugal). Partner 3 is SINTEF Industry (Norway), and Partner 4 is from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH, Denmark).


This multidisciplinary consortium takes advantage of the collaborations between researchers with different backgrounds, such as material scientists, chemical engineers, biochemists, pharmacists, and pathologists, so that the consortium can come closer to finding a new and effective therapy for GBM.

Partner 1 (Coordinator): Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP)

FEUP's team is the Nano4Med group, which is included in the research unit LEPABE (ALiCE). The scientific research of the FEUP team focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of several types of NPs, for the loading of several molecules. The FEUP team also has vast experience with studying NP toxicity in human cellular models. Thus, the team has the necessary skills and know-how to prepare, characterize, and optimize the encapsulation of compounds in NPs and to evaluate their efficacy. FEUP’s team has a strong record in national and international project participation (e.g., Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (PTDC/QUI-BIQ/118076/2010) and the European project TRANSCAN/00011/2012 (Nanoparticle enhanced molecular Fluorescence-Endoscopy for detection of early-stage colorectal adenocarcinoma). The FEUP team is composed of two associate Professors – Prof. Maria do Carmo Pereira (Scopus ID: 5721565434) and Prof. Manuel Coelho (Scopus ID: 7101666995). Four Research Scientists are also part of this team, Dr. Joana A. Loureiro (Scopus ID: 55851941412), Dr. Maria J. Ramalho (Scopus ID: 56642479900), Dr. Stéphanie Andrade (Scopus ID: 56642407100), and Pedro Carneiro (Scopus ID: 55775720800). FEUP and i3S teams have been collaborating in the past years to develop a new therapy for GBM therapy, and in the context of this research, Prof. Pereira was recently distinguished with the Prize Maratona da Saúde Award (Senior Researcher category in the 2019 edition to support Cancer Research, Portugal) attributed by a FCT international jury.

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Maria do Carmo Pereira

Manuel Coelho

Joana Loureiro

Maria Ramalho

Stéphanie Andrade

Pedro Carneiro

Partner 2: Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S)

The primary area of focus of the i3S team is the study of adult and pediatric central nervous system tumors, namely the genetics of these tumors. The i3S team members are experts in animal models for diseases’ mechanisms and in vivo toxicity, providing solid knowledge for animal experiments. The i3S team is currently involved in 3 funded projects for brain tumor studies: "Setting up molecular biomarkers for precision medicine in pediatric brain tumor patients", awarded by Lions Club Portugal; "MGMT methylation in Glioblastomas", awarded by a private initiative; and "Implementation of molecular biomarkers in liquid biopsy for precision medicine in pediatric brain tumor patients – PEDILIQ", awarded by Lions Club Portugal. The i3S team is composed of an affiliated Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of UPorto, Dr. Jorge Lima (Scopus ID: 35475530400) and a Research Scientist, Dr. Joana Peixoto (Scopus ID: 55980830300).

Jorge Lima

Joana Peixoto

Partner 3: SINTEF Industry (SINTEF)

The SINTEF team has extensive experience in the design and characterization of hydrogels, interactions between and incorporation of NPs into hydrogels, release studies, in vitro toxicity, and efficacy assessments. It also has extensive experience and significant ongoing project activity on the synthesis and characterization of nanomedicines, e.g. as an owner of various drug delivery platforms and as a core partner and assay group leader in EUNCL (H2020). State-of-the-art instrumentation is available for physicochemical and chemical analyses, as well as high-throughput advanced in vitro analyses. The department has high competence in the formulation and preparation of hydrogel nanopharmaceuticals and biomaterials, as well as biotechnological processes, molecular genetics, bioinformatics, and translation from lab to pilot scale. The SINTEF team is comprised of Research Scientist Dr. Andreas Åslund (SCOPUS ID: 22833693600) and Senior Research Scientist Dr. Wilhelm Glomm (SCOPUS ID: 6507426946). SINTEF was a core partner of the following EU H2020 projects: European Nanomedicine Characterization Laboratory (EUNCL, H2020/EU, 2015-2019, Grant number: 654190); Regulatory Science Framework for Nano(bio)material-based Medical Products and Devices (REFINE, H2020/EU, 2017-2022, Grant number: 761104); Safety Testing in the Life Cycle of Nanotechnology-Enabled Medical Technologies for Health (SAFE-N-MEDTECH, H2020/EU, 2019-2022, Grant number: 814607). SINTEF has also been a core partner in nationally financed projects such as Ultrasound-enhanced delivery of multifunctional nanoparticles: Improving therapy of cancer and diseases in the central nervous system (Norwegian Research Council, 2016-2019).

Andreas Åslund

Wilhelm Glomm

Partner 4: University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

The UCPH team has pronounced experience with experimental brain tumor models, including patient-derived glioblastoma spheroid cultures. Using these spheroids, the team has demonstrated both tumor growth and their infiltrative nature (similar to glioblastoma in patients) in orthotopic mouse models and organotypic rat models with intracerebral implantation. The glioblastoma models developed by the UCPH team are molecularly well characterized and will allow studying tumor formation and the anti-tumor effect of the new materials developed in this project, including toxicity studies. This proposal will work in great synergy with the ongoing experimental projects led by the UCPH team and supported by the Novo Nordic Foundation: “Overcoming therapy resistance in glioblastoma by targeting the influence of tumor-associated microglia-macrophages (TAMs) on tumor cells” and the Danish Cancer Society: “Identification of novel targets in glioblastoma using an improved pre-clinical model”. The team is composed of Professor Bjarne Winther Kristensen (Scopus ID: 710185324), postdoc Signe Regner Michaelsen (Scopus ID: 55321645400), and the Ph.D. Fellow Kartikey Saxena (Scopus ID: 57472267400).

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Bjarne Winther Kristensen

Signe Regner Michaelsen

Kartikey Saxena

Advisory Board

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Mathias Preusser
Medical University of Vienna (Austria)

Bruno Carvalho
São João Universitary Hospital Center (Portugal)


Jorge Pinheiro  Neuropathologist
São João Universitary Hospital Center (Portugal)

Ruth Schmid
Industrial expert (Norway)

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