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BRInGing nano-pHoTonics into the brain

Objective

NanoBRIGHT will develop a new approach to optically interface with the brain, referred to as “photonic-physiology”: a new technique with high-translational appeal that exploits light-metals interactions to interface with the brain, targeting specific diseases including brain tumors, epilepsy and traumatic brain injuries. This will allow to reach the long-term vision of developing novel cutting-edge optical approaches to study and treat pathological conditions of the brain without using genetically-encoded proteins, which represent the main limitation for optogenetic techniques currently employed to interface with the neural tissue.

The approach will be based on a unique science-enabled technology exploiting the spatial selectivity properties of multimodal tapered optical fibers to activate a subset of high-density plasmonic hotspots along the taper. The resulting implantable devices will establish a new approach to interface with brain, striving at:

1- Demonstrate the capability of photonics for detecting and treating pathological conditions of the brain without the use of genetically-encoded proteins. We plan to exploit SERS to differentiate between primary and secondary brain tumors and to outline new methods to study oxidative stress in epileptogenic tissue.

2- Upscaling the range of physiological phenomena that can be controlled by light in vivo beyond those achieved so far by genetically encoded proteins, including vasodilation to locally increase permeability of the blood-brain-barrier thus enhancing pharmacological delivery in well-targeted regions of brain tumors.

3-Proving that unconventional combination between light-matter interactions and photonic-physiology can be used to analyze comorbidities between different diseases, testing the influence of brain tumors on epilepsy or tumor influence on the electrical activity of nearby and distal neural cells.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/neurology/epilepsy
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/fibre optics
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/fibers

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Address
Via Morego 30
16163 Genova
Italy
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 638 167,50

Participants (3)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 683 125
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 461 780
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
FUNDACION CENTRO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIONES ONCOLOGICAS CARLOS III
Spain
EU contribution
€ 713 125
Address
Calle Melchor Fernandez Almagro 3
28029 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations