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


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
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.

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Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 638 750,00
Rue d ulm 26
75231 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Type d’activité
Research Organisations
Autres sources de financement
€ 0,00

Participants (7)