Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NEST (Nanoengineering of radioactive seeds for cancer therapy and diagnosis)
Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30
Nanotechnology has emerged as one of the most promising approaches in the fight against cancer. Research in the nanomaterials field has allowed the development of new strategies to overcome the current therapeutic limitations that include the late stage diagnosis, cancer cell plasticity, lack of specificity and multi-drug resistance. Some of them being already approved for clinically use in humans. However, additional research is necessary to obtain novel and efficient nanocarriers for the detection and treatment of cancer, in order to improve the survival rate and reduce the incidence of the disease.
The purpose of the NEST project is to develop ultra-sensitive imaging and therapeutic nanometric platforms, by filling hot radionuclides in the interior of nanostructures (nanoseeds). This allows the protection of the radionuclides from the biological environment, and the in vivo fate becomes governed by the nanocarrier, being alien to the encaged compounds. Thus, the overall objective is the rational assembly of highly loaded and functionalized nanoseeds, controlling their size, shape or surface properties according to the desired pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. It is expected to allow an early diagnosis of the disease and a more personalised treatment of cancer, with less side effects to improve the living conditions of the patients.
Then, several compounds have been loaded and sealed inside the nanoparticles, testing their capability to be encaged and retained. Major efforts have been carried out to optimize the loading amount and the time of the process, as this is a limiting factor due to the short half-life of the radioactive payloads. Thus, completely sealed nanostructures containing the compounds inside their inner cavity have been obtained. Preliminar functionalization of the nanoparticles external surface has also been explored. Attachment of specific groups to the particles surface, has been explored in order to improve their circulation time and enhance tumour accumulation once the nanomaterials are introduced inside the organism.
Finally, the interaction between the synthetized platforms and different cell lines has been evaluated, in order to determine the influence of these nanomaterials in the cell viability. The developed nanostructures have shown to be non-cytotoxic.
These nanoplatforms might not only contribute to the cancer radiodiagnosis and therapy but also can be useful for other approaches such as drug delivery or as contrast agent for different imaging modalities.