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Engineered Exosomes for Stimuli-responsive Image-guided Drug delivery for Cancer Theranostic applications.

Project description

Remote-controlled drug delivery

Exosomes are cell-derived extracellular vesicles that carry nucleic acids, proteins, metabolites and lipids. They are implicated in cell-cell communication, and emerging evidence underscores their role in the pathophysiology of many diseases. The TheranoXome project aims to exploit exosomes for the image guided delivery of drugs. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, it will use nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs within exosomes and test their properties and efficacy in a mouse model of breast cancer. Importantly, the specific delivery and fate of these exosomes will be mediated by magnetic resonance imaging.


The primary objective of this project is to engineer a non-immunogenic cell-membrane mimicking drug delivery vehicle for remote-controlled precision drug delivery. This will be achieved by encapsulating stimuli-responsive & contrast enhancing nanoparticles and drug cargo into endogenous exosomes to develop a therapeutic-cum-diagnostic exosomal system viz; TheranoXome for image-guided stimuli-responsive drug delivery. Such bio-mimetic TheranoXomes if realized will have wide applicability as a universal drug-delivery agent. The project entails three steps: (1) Synthesizing TheranoXomes by template assisted loading of chemotherapeutic drugs, light responsive thermoplasmonic gold nanorods and magnetic nanoparticles as magnetic resonance imaging agents into exosomes; (2) (Bio-)Physicochemical characterization of TheranoXomes including colloidal properties, biomimetics, immuno-compatibility, light-triggered drug release, magnetism (imaging and magnetic guided enrichment) and in vitro studies (2D and 3D cell cultures); (3) Application of TheranoXomes in vivo in a breast tumor bearing mice model. I (the ER) will prepare, characterize and test the materials and application proposed, with the support of a multidisciplinary hub of specialists. The prime training aim of TheranoXome is to provide me with a solid foundation in biomaterials, which will support my future career endeavours, both in the academia or industry, to be an independent researcher, a founder of a start-up company or to become key player in the biomaterials sector. I will be hosted by the Centre for Research in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials (CiQUS) of the University of Santiago de Compostela, a cutting-edge multidisciplinary research centre at the interface of chemistry, biomedicine and molecular materials. The training will be further strengthened by one secondment (6 months) focused on in vivo (drug delivery and imaging) studies (Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela - IDIS).


Net EU contribution
€ 181 152,96
15782 Santiago De Compostela

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Noroeste Galicia A Coruña
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)