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Nanoagent-based three-method treatment for atherosclerosis: Combination of thermal, mechanical, and drug-based methods

Project description

A nanostructure-based combined treatment for atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis (AS) is a medical condition associated with the build-up of cholesterol plaques in the lining of arteries. These become hard and narrow and may cause heart attack or stroke. The objective of the NanoTAS project funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme is to develop a novel combined treatment of AS using nano-structured agents. The approach combines thermal and mechanical treatments with targeted release of anti-AS drugs. Researchers aim to decrease the inflammation in the blood vessels, break existing atherosclerotic plaques and achieve specific drug delivery. The NanoTAS strategy is expected to achieve optimal outcome for AS patients.


The aim of NanoTAS is to propose a novel three-method treatment for the atherosclerosis (AS) disease based on nano-structured agents (NAs), which incorporates three kinds of methods into a single one: 1) Thermal treatment, 2) Mechanical treatment, and 3) Anti-AS drug-based treatment. The NAs employed in the NanoTAS are proposed to have a novel composite structure including magnetic agents (ferrite-based nanorods; FNRs) and plasmonic agents (Au nanostars; AuNSs). Thermal treatment is accomplished through magneto-photo thermal therapy (MPTT), a combination of magnetic hyperthermia therapy (MHT) using FNRs under alternating magnetic field (AMF) and photothermal therapy (PTT) using AuNSs under near-infrared laser (NIR-laser) while mechanical treatment is performed through rotation of NAs (by their magnetic part i.e. FNRs) under rotating magnetic field (RMF). The NAs also load anti-AS drug and deliver it to target sites through a biocompatible and thermo-sensitive polymer. Accordingly, the specific objectives of NanoTAS can be summarized as: Oi) Decreasing the inflammation in blood vessels involved in the AS through thermal treatment (MPTT). Oii) Targeted release of anti-AS drug using a thermo-sensitive mechanism triggered by thermal treatment. Oiii) Breaking and abrading plaques using mechanical treatment through rotation of NAs under RMF. The objectives are achieved through applying the external stimuli on the drug-loaded NAs, during the following steps: Step 1) Applying both AMF and NIR-laser: This is a two-purpose step in which thermal treatment is accomplished aiming both decrease in inflammation (Oi) and drug release (Oii). Step 2) Applying RMF: This step is applied for breaking and chipping the structure of plaques (Oiii). Step 3) Repeating the step 1: This step is a supplementary one to decrease in remaining inflammation (Oi).

Funding Scheme



Net EU contribution
€ 165 312,96
18071 Granada

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Sur Andalucía Granada
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data