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Engineering Discoidal Polymeric Nanoconstructs for the Multi-Physics Treatment of Brain Tumors

Final Report Summary - POTENT (Engineering Discoidal Polymeric Nanoconstructs for the Multi-Physics Treatment of Brain Tumors)

The project POTENT has designed, engineered and tested preclinically novel polymer-based drug delivery platforms for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, the most devastating brain tumor. Using a top-down, template-based fabrication strategy, injectable nanoconstructs, called discoidal polymeric nanoconstructs (DPN), have been realized with a variety of size, shape, surface and mechanical properties. Using the same fabrication strategy, an implantable microscopic device, called the μMESH, has been also demonstrated. Both DPN and μMESH exhibit unique geometrical attributes and tunable mechanical properties. Specifically, soft DPN have been shown to behave as platelets and efficiently navigate into the circulatory system to reach the malignant mass. Deformable μMESH have been shown to conform to the surface of malignant masses so to enhance the penetration depth of therapeutic agents. Preclinical tests on glioblastoma multiforme models have shown that the local application of a μMESH can boost survival rates well beyond current clinical practice. Importantly, while more extensive testing of DPN and μMESH on glioblastoma multiforme is progressing, the same polymer-based drug delivery platforms are currently being developed for the treatment of breast cancer, stroke and osteoarthritis.