Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MaNaCa (Magnetic Nanohybrids for Cancer Therapy)
Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-12-31
1. Stimulating scientific excellence and innovation capacity of IPR-NAS with regard to magnetic nanohybrids for cancer therapy.
2. Improving the career prospects of early-stage researchers of IPR-NAS and the Twinning partners.
3. Raising the research profile of IPR-NAS and the Twinning Partners.
Effective cancer therapy is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Advances in improving the efficacy and reliability of the present-day cancer therapies will not only translate into a broad scale sociological impact, but
also generate vast economic benefits. Besides the most familiar present-day cancer therapies, i.e. radiotherapy and chemotherapy, magnetically stimulated therapy like hyperthermia and magneto-mechanical induced cell death of
tumour tissue has evolved into an approved therapy for cancer competing with chemotoxic and radiological approaches.
WP1 Exchange of senior researchers
• 0.75 person-months of senior researcher visits from IPR-NAS to UDE.
• Dr. Aram Manukyan’s first visit to UDE coincided with their International Workshop SpinS (organised by Prof. Michael Farle, UDE) held during 2-4 October 2019.
• Dr. Aram Manukyan’s second visit to UDE provided an opportunity to receive training and to become familiar with their laboratory equipment and scientific facilities.
• Regular online training (scientific and technical) involving IPR-NAS, UDE and AUTH provided during June - November 2020.
• 1st Training Workshop held during 27-28 July 2020 (Zoom). 38 people (33 x early-stage researchers, 5 x senior researchers, 58% female) participated in the workshop.
• 2nd Training Workshop held during 25-28 August 2020 (Hybrid: Zoom/Thessaloniki). The workshop/summer school - with 78 participants from 11 countries - was held in English and addressed towards Greek and foreign graduates and PhD students, as well as to post-doc and young researchers (61 in total) working in the field of magnetic nanomaterials focusing on their biomedical applicability.
WP2 Exchange of early-stage researchers
• IPR-NAS’ and UDE’s early-stage researchers received online education and training in the form of weekly seminars. The seminars focused on:
o Fabrication of Fe/Fe3C carbon coated nanoparticles by solid state pyrolysis;
o Structural characterization of nano-powder by XRD;
o Magnetic characterization using of SQUID and VS magnetometry;
o Ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) for nanoparticles investigation.
• UDE investigated nine samples of Fe/Fe3C carbon coated nanoparticles fabricated with different parameters of pyrolysis by IPR-NAS.
• IPR-NAS’ and AUTH’s early-stage researchers received online education and training in the form of a video Lab Course. Two training sessions (27 and 28 August 2020) were given by AUTH’s researchers focused on magnetic nanoparticles sample preparation for bio-application; operation of a magnetic particle hypothermia apparatus, demonstration of experiments in different samples under various condition.
• The 1st Summer School was held during 25-28 August 2020 with a hybrid format: local young Greek researchers and professors participated in person at AUTH in Thessaloniki while the other participants followed remotely via Zoom.
• The partners have agreed the preliminary structure for a joint PhD programme, which will allow the admitted PhD students to benefit from the cultural and educational experiences from spending time in Germany, Greece and Armenia.
WP3 Dissemination and outreach
• The MaNaCa Data Management Plan has been prepared.
• The project website (www.h2020-manaca.eu) has been available since early February 2020.
• 115+ leaflets downloaded from project website, 30+ posters downloaded from project website.
• The MaNaCa consortium has participated in a range of outreach and communication activities targeting different audiences such as the general public, scientists, students and young researchers.
• 5 joint research papers presented at international conferences.
WP4 Project management
• The project kick-off meeting was held during 4 October 2019 and hosted by UDE in Duisburg.
• The second, third and fourth consortium meetings have been held online.
1. The consortium partners’ early-stage researchers have been trained in magnetic nanomaterial synthesis, structural, magnetic and magnetic heating characterization methods via a combination of online seminars, workshops and lectures.
2. The consortium partners have synthesised a number of samples (Fe-Fe3C)/C by solid-phase pyrolysis of iron phthalocyanine and comprehensive structural and magnetic studies have been performed on them.
3. Thanks to the efforts of the consortium partners’ early-stage researchers, interesting experimental results were obtained, which are being processed for a journal publication.
The project's progress towards its expected impacts are:
Impact 1: Increased research excellence of IPR-NAS in magnetic nanohybrids for cancer therapy
Based on the obtained experimental results, a research paper is being prepared for publication in a high impact journal that will increase the research excellence of IPR-NAS.
Impact 2: Enhancement of reputation, attractiveness and networking channels of IPR-NAS
The conducted workshops, summer school and weekly seminars have helped to improve the research and technical competence of IPR-NAS’ researchers so that they can effectively assess experimental results and make good scientific presentations.
Impact 3: Improved capability of IPR-NAS to compete successfully for national, EU and internationally competitive research funding
IPR-NAS has managed to win the following three research projects during Period 1:
Impact 4: Contribution to the research and innovation priorities of Armenia
The Armenian government supports the synthesis and study of ferromagnetic nanocomposite materials for biomedical applications and has helped IPR-NAS to purchase a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer for magnetic investigations.
Impact 5: Support research and innovation on a European level
IPR-NAS and UDE are preparing an Armenian-German bilateral project proposal for submission to the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) "Cooperation with Developing Countries" programme.