Engineered nano-based device for glioblastoma multiforme therapy
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.
Maria do Carmo Pereira
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).
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).