Catalytic nanoparticles for localised drug activation
In drug delivery, novel focal delivery approaches can supplement conventional delivery systems and prodrug strategies, preventing adverse effect and drug resistance, as well as increasing efficacy. The EU-funded GOLDEN project proposes to bypass the metabolic machinery of cells and produce bioactive molecules at specific locations within the body using metallic nanoparticles (NPs). Gold-based NPs serve as biocompatible catalysts and can be engineered to specifically reach cancer cells converting systemically administered bioactive precursors into drugs. Researchers will use zebrafish as a model to test the efficacy of the GOLDEN NP-based strategy at activating dyes and neuromodulators in the brain, paving the way for the treatment of localised disorders and chronic pain.