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Laser-induced vapour nanobubbles for intracellular delivery of nanomaterials and treatment of biofilm infections

Objective

Lasers have found widespread application in medicine, such as for photothermal therapy. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), are often used as enhancers of the photothermal effect since they can efficiently absorb laser light and convert it into thermal energy. When absorbing intense nano- or picosecond laser pulses, AuNPs can become extremely hot and water vapor nanobubbles (VNBs) can emerge around these particles in tissue. A VNB will expand up to several hundred nm until the thermal energy from the AuNP is consumed, after which the bubble violently collapses, causing mechanical damage to neighbouring structures. In this project the aim is to make use of the disruptive mechanical force of VNBs to enable highly controlled and efficient delivery of macromolecules and nanoparticles in cells and biofilms. First, optical set-ups and microfluidics devices will be developed for high-throughput treatment of cells and biofilms. Second, VNBs will be used to achieve efficient cytosolic delivery of functional macromolecules in mammalian cells by cell membrane perforation or by inducing endosomal escape of endocytosed nanomedicine formulations that are functionalized with AuNPs. These concepts will be applied to tumorigenesis research, generation of induced pluripotent stem cells and modulation of effector T-cells for adoptive T-cell anti-cancer therapy. Third, contrast nanoparticles for cell imaging will be delivered into the cytosol of mammalian cells through VNB induced cell membrane perforation. This will enable more reliable in vivo imaging of labelled cells, labelling of subcellular structures for time-lapse microscopy and intracellular biosensing. Finally, [... confidential...] laser-induced VNBs will be used [... confidential...] for improved eradication of biofilms. This concept will be applied to biofilm infections in dental root canals and chronic wounds.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/biosensing
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/laser physics
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/cells technologies/stem cells
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/nanomedicine
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/cell biology
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/classical mechanics/fluid mechanics/microfluidics
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/tissue engineering
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Address
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Belgium
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 980 000

Beneficiaries (2)

UNIVERSITEIT GENT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 1 980 000
Address
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITE DE LILLE
France
EU contribution
€ 256 250
Address
42 Rue Paul Duez
59800 Lille
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments