Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Enhanced brown adipose tissue activity using nanotechnology approaches

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - nanoBAT (Enhanced brown adipose tissue activity using nanotechnology approaches)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2020-01-31

Obesity and cardio-metabolic disease represent major health problems with vast impacts on the European healthcare systems. Recent advances in nanotechnology and nano-materials can be used to design novel techniques aiming to boost human metabolism; thus being promising candidates for human metabolic disease treatment. However, the development of these techniques requires the creation of new technology and knowledge in chemistry, nano-materials, toxicology, physiology, molecular biology as well as business management and marketing. SMEs do not have the technical capabilities or the facilities to conduct R&D activities at the level of excellence required for such development. Academic institutions have the capacity and facilities to conduct research and design activities necessary to develop the concept into a market product. However, the do not have a viable supply chain to develop the prototype post project and to exploit the product in the market. to solve this intersectoral problem, the nanoBAT project will create an effective intersectoral co-operation between academia institutions and SMEs to advance the concept of nanostructured delivery-L-menthol system for brown adipose tissue activation. nanoBAt will put together knowledge, research expertise and resources from two large academic participants with business, market and commercialization experience from three SMEs to: 1 ensure a hig degree of collaboration between academic and industrial participants though Networking activities, 2 go beyond the current state of the art trough research and training activities, 3 increase intersectoral transfer of knowledge trough workshop acitities, 4 ensure high level of innovation capacity though innovation activities, 5 ensure communication to the scientific community and to the public though dissemination and outreach activities.
During the Mari-Curi-RISE European project nanoBAT three main objectives have been achieved:
Firstly, the intersectoral and interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge between the Universities and industrial institutions (small companies) involved in the project has been promoted, through the exchange of a total of 8 experience researches and 3 young researchers. The current cooperation has an impact on the personal career of the researchers that have acquired new skills, experiences on different work environment, and they increased their contact network. On the other hand the organization of several workshops has allowed to maximize the transfer of knowledge between the university community and industrial institution that have attended to the workshops.
Secondly, we designed a novel therapy for treatment of obesity and cardio metabolic diseases based on the activation of the brown fat tissue that is responsible for non-shivering thermogenesis upon cold exposure or high fat diet. To reach this goal, the researches have to acquire a deep understanding about brown fat tissue physiological function along different human ages and especially in overweight patients with associated pathologies. These knowledges were essential to define patient targets and the design of the final product depending on the most appropriate administration route and site.
At last, we developed L-menthol encapsulating nanoparticle prototypes and assessed their permeability and cell toxicity.
In the first two years we identified a suitable nano-particle for the encapsulation of L-menthol that can be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and disperse L-menthol in the blood stream for a longer period. What we expect in the next two years is to validate the possible use of the nano-particle with the L-menthol in vivo animal models and proving an increased activation of brown adipose tissue. Obviously, in order to use the particle for human treatment, we need to think about manufacturing the particles in GMP mode. This is not far from the consortium's possibilities, but will request some additional efforts at the end of the project.
At the end of the project, we hope to have developed a product that can be considered as a food supplement and that will increase the human metabolic rate. After the necessary validation studies, the product can be used as a tool in the fight against obesity.