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Networking Activities for Nanotechnology-Facilitated Cancer Theranostics

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NANOFACTS (Networking Activities for Nanotechnology-Facilitated Cancer Theranostics)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-03-31

The main goal of NANOFACTS is to enhance research capabilities at Biosense institute related to research in cancer theranostics nanomaterials and biosensing diagnostics of cancer, and to promote collaboration with internationally leading institutions at EU level.
In order to widen the research agenda at BIOS with cancer-related research and health-related biosensing technologies, NANOFACTS will harness and improve pre-existing links with two leading European research institutions in the field of nanotechnology and development of biosensors:
• Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland, The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, an expert in the application of nanotechnology for cancer treatment and imaging; and its validation, including biocompatibility of nanoparticles/nanodevices.
• Vienna University of Technology (TUW), Faculty of Technical Chemistry, Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry and Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics, an expert in devising health-related biosensors.

The main strategies to be explored during the project activities will include:
a) BIOS researchers gaining knowledge on devising theranostic nanoparticles for real-time in vivo detection of cancer biomarkers, along with simultaneous targeted cancer therapy and imaging and b) enhancing the capacity of biosensing technologies at BIOS with cancer-related biosensing, including construction of an array of user-friendly personalized point of-care microfluidic and electronic diagnostic devices for electronic and optical sensing of cancer biomarkers, which could be introduced to home disease-monitoring.

NANOFACTS objectives:
To enhance the scientific & technological (S&T) capacity of biosensing technologies at BIOS into the field of biosensors for cancer.
To build the S&T capacity of BIOS to perform research in nanotechnology and its application for cancer therapy, imaging and early diagnosis of cancer.
Research activities and hands-on skill transfer by collaboration with Project partners toward the development of novel theranostic nanomaterials and efficient devices for cancer diagnostics.
Career development of BIOS staff.

As a result of NANOFACTS activities, future research is expected to change the medical practice in oncology. NANOFACTS-enabled cancer diagnostic/therapy solutions are to be applied for early cancer diagnostics, for real-time monitoring of the treatment progress and for cancer-specific treatment, which would allow lower occurence of side effects and complications than the current treatment options. In addition to the benefits for the health of cancer patients, in terms of more efficient diagnostic and therapeutic methodologies, more efficient cancer treatments are expected to lower the overall costs for the patients and the national health systems.

The new NANOFACTS-enabled technology and newly trained BIOS staff, are also expected to trigger a whole new field of business. These new business opportunities will revolve around the commercialization of new nanomaterials and nanodevices for sensing cancer biomarkers, cancer imaging and cancer therapy.
A consortium agreement was signed before the start of the Project.

The project kickoff meeting was held online on January 27th, 2021.

A continuous reporting tool for the evolution in % of the peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals is established.

The quality management plan is prepared on 25.02.2021. which outlines the quality assurance criteria, management tools, and processes and how these will be monitored.

The Plan for the Exploitation and Dissemination of Results (PEDR) is developed on 26.02.2021. outlining the dissemination strategy, the key communication messages, and content to be used by NANOFACTS as well as to identify and employ the most suitable channels.

NANOFACTS Web portal is registered since 19.02.2021. and the hosting is arranged for the period of 3 years, at the following URL: http://nanofacts.net

Social media groups for NANOFACTS are registered since 03.02.2021. at the following social media:

FACEBOOK; Link: https://www.facebook.com/nanofacts2020
Linkedin; Link: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nanofacts
Instagram; Link: https://www.instagram.com/_nanofacts/
Twitter; Link: https://twitter.com/NANOFACTS2
The dissemination through these social media groups started on February 4th 2021.

First NANOFACTS-supported article is published:
Mladenović, M.; Morgan, I.; Ilić, N.; Saoud, M.; Pergal, M.V.; Kaluđerović, G.N.; Knežević, N.Ž. pH-Responsive Release of Ruthenium Metallotherapeutics from Mesoporous Silica-Based Nanocarriers. Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 460. IF 4.421 Rank> 44/271, Q1, PHARMACOLOGY & PHARMACY

May 2021: an improved design of the NANOFACTS website is available at www.nanofacts.net

July 2021: New journal article is published: K. Živojević, M. Mladenović, M. Djisalov, M. Mundzic, E. Ruiz-Hernandez, I. Gadjanski, N.Ž. Knežević, Advanced mesoporous silica nanocarriers in cancer theranostics and gene editing applications, J. Control. Release. 337 (2021) 193–211. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.07.029.

October 1st, 2021: The first secondment of three ESRs (Aleksandra Pavlović, Ivana Podunavac, and Stefan Jarić), from BIOS to TUW has started. Their stay in Vienna will be 2 months long and they are to receive training in the development of microfluidic biosensors related to cancer.

October 7th, 2021: The third scientific article supported by NANOFACTS has been published: Lynch, M. J., & Gobbo, O. L. (2021). Advances in Non-Animal Testing Approaches towards Accelerated Clinical Translation of Novel Nanotheranostic Therapeutics for Central Nervous System Disorders. Nanomaterials, 11(10), 2632. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102632
The activities under NANOFACTS project are aimed at adopting the necessary skill-set by BIOS researchers, for devising theranostic nanoparticles combining the real time cancer biomarker (CB)-detection in patients, along with simultaneous therapy and imaging. This three-modal function will facilitate the detection of physiological hurdles during the treatment process and consequentially facilitate the process of treatment optimization.
The project activities will be aimed at gaining the knowledge on designing tumour targeting nanoparticles, capable of selective cancer treatment, along with capabilities in signaling the presence of specific CBs within the tumour tissues. A change in externally readable signal (e.g. change in relaxation rate of a MR contrast agent) would give information on the presence of the specific CB in the tumour tissue in vivo. The desired change in the readable signal would be accomplished by construction of a new generation of functionalized porous silica-based nanoparticles.
It is expected that BIOS staff would gain knowledge on construction of point-of-care microfluidic and electronic sensing devices for highly sensitive and selective detection of cancer biomarkers from the patients’ blood, saliva or breath.
Representation of nanomaterials and methodologies for research training during NANOFACTS project