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Hijacking cell signalling pathways with magnetic nanoactuators for remote-controlled stem cell therapies of neurodegenerative disorders

Objective

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, are a major public health issue given the aging population in
Europe and beyond. While curative pharmacological treatment of these diseases is not in sight, cell replacement therapies
(CTs) are considered very promising, in particular with the advent of stem-cell reprogramming technologies. However, a
fundamental challenge in the medical application of CTs in the brain of patients lies in the lack of control of cell behaviour at
the site of transplantation, and particularly their differentiation and oriented growth. The aim of this project is to introduce a
fundamentally new concept for remote control of cellular functions by means of magnetic manipulation. The technology is
based on magnetic nanoparticles functionalized with proteins involved in cellular signalling cascades. These
biofunctionalized MNPs (bMNPs) will be delivered into target cells, where they act as intracellular signalling platforms
activatable in a spatially and temporally controlled manner by external magnetic fields. The project will focus on engineering
these tools for the control of neuronal cell programming and fibre outgrowth by hijacking Wnt and neurotrophin signalling,
respectively, with the ulti-mate objective of advancing cell replacement therapies for PD using dopaminergic precursor
neurons.
To achieve this ambitious goal, we have gathered an interdisciplinary consortium interfacing scientists having cutting-edge
know-how in bMNP engineering, surface functionalization and cellular nanobiophysics with renowned experts in neuronal
cell differentiation, stem-cell reprogramming and regenerative (nano-)medicine. By exploiting this complementary expertise,
a novel, versatile technology for magnetic control of intracellular signalling is envis-aged, which will be a breakthrough for
remote actuation of cellular functions and its successful implementation in CTs for neurodegenerative diseases and injuries
within the following decade.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2014-2015-RIA
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

INSTITUT CURIE
Address
Rue D'ulm 26
75231 Paris
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 638 750

Participants (6)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 488 276
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Other
UNIVERSITY OF KEELE ROYAL CHARTER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 808 281,71
Address
Keele University Finance Dpt
ST5 5BG Keele
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAET OSNABRUECK
Germany
EU contribution
€ 654 000
Address
Neuer Graben/schloss 29
49074 Osnabrueck
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
RUHR-UNIVERSITAET BOCHUM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 681 875
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 150
44801 Bochum
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EFFICIENT INNOVATION SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 150 000
Address
Avenue Clement Ader 55
34170 Castelnau Le Lez
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 51 843,29
Address
Edgbaston
B15 2TT Birmingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments