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3g-Nanotechnology based targeted drug delivery using the inner ear as a model target organ


The goal of the NANOEAR consortium is to develop novel multifunctional nanoparticles (MFNPs), which are targetable, biodegradable, traceable in-vivo and equipped with controlled drug release.

With over 44 million EU citizens with treatable hearing loss, and 40 000 profoundly deaf who can be benefit with MFNP-based novel cochlear implant, the inner ear is a unique target. Both a model for nervous system disorders and difficult-to-access body sites; it is isolated, with neural and vascular targets, and is immuno-privileged.

Measures of function and structure are quantitative and precise. Highly penetrating delivery vehicles will be created to carry and release drugs precisely to targeted tissue sites and selected cells. Nanoparticles, dendrimers, micelles and polymer-protein complexes will be designed for delivery of drugs/genes to selected targets of the inner ear.

Four EU/FDA approved degradable biomaterials will be tested for targeting, coating, toxicity and payload carrier capacity. Commercially avail able liposomes, encapsulated by polyethylene glycol (PEG), impregnated with drugs, and modified with targeting ligands and signalling molecules (gadolinium) will be assessed for benchmarking purposes.

The fabricated MFNPs will be applicable to wide variety of drugs (e.g. conventional therapeutics, growth factors, proteins, nucleic acids, steroids). We will demonstrate greater selectivity, reduced side effects and greater efficacy than possible with current drug delivery, and provide treatments not currently possible.

As a demonstration milestone this IP will produce a novel human cochlear implant promoting improved cochlear nerve-implant integration. In this demonstration the implant will include a MFNP drug reservoir providing continuous drug delivery and MFNP electrode coatings providing targets for nerve growth.

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IP - Integrated Project


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