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Targeted nanoparticles for cancer treatment

In collaboration with Profs S. Lucas, Ph. Martinive (ULg),  O. Feron (FATH, UCL), B. Gallez (REMA, UCL), D. Bonifazi (Cardiff University), Drs A-H. Heuskin, R. Marega, S. Li and PhD student (S. Penninckx)

Targeted nanoparticlesNanoparticles are generally defined as particles with a diameter in the nanometer size range; enabling to directly interface with life at the subcellular scale. In this context, the University of Namur has investigated the great potential of hybrid gold nanoparticles (AuNP) as platforms for cancer theranostics, being able to act both as agents for diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy. Indeed, gold particles have emerged as promising radiosensitizers achieving significantly elevated radiation dose upon irradiation, thus increasing the effectiveness of radiation therapy. By decorating the gold nanoparticles through an organic polymer coating strategy with antibodies (mAb) that target the tumor cells, the radiosensitizing effect is focused to the tumor and not to normal tissues. In addition, targeted gold nanoparticles can serve as imaging contrast agents supporting better tumor localization and thus improving treatment accuracy. This is the objective of the current project.

In addition, further increase the theranostic applications, the suitability of such AuNP-mAb as a platform for delivery of medical radionuclides to tumor cells has to be tested. In particular, it is interesting to verify the effectiveness of radionuclide-doping of AuNP (leaching, transport and irradiation of healthy tissue have to be prevented) and of dose delivery. Moreover, the potential synergetic effect of the ionizing radiation emitted by the radionuclide and the AuNP radiosensitizing needs to be verified. 

Selected publications

  • Lucas S, Feron O, Gallez B, Masereel B, Michiels C & Vander Borght T 2015, ‘Monte Carlo Calculation of Radioimmunotherapy with (90)Y-, (177)Lu-, (131)I-, (124)I-, and (188)Re-Nanoobjects: Choice of the Best Radionuclide for Solid Tumour Treatment by Using TCP and NTCP Concepts. Computional and Mathematics Methods in Medicine, vol 2015, pp. 284360.
  • Karmani, L, Bouchat, V, Bouzin, C, Levêque, P, Labar, D, Bol, A, Deumer, G, Marega, R, Bonifazi, D, Haufroid, V, Michiels, C, Grégoire, V, Feron, O, Lucas, S, Vander Borght, T & Gallez, B 2014, '89Zr-labeled anti-endoglin antibody-targeted gold nanoparticles for imaging cancer: Implications for future cancer therapy' Nanomedicine, vol 9, no. 13, pp. 1923-1937.
  • Karmani, L, Labar, D, Valembois, V, Bouchat, V, Nagaswaran, PG, Bol, A, Gillart, J, Levêque, P, Bouzin, C, Bonifazi, D, Michiels, C, Feron, O, Grégoire, V, Lucas, S, Borght, TV & Gallez, B 2013, 'Antibody-functionalized nanoparticles for imaging cancer influence of conjugation to gold nanoparticles on the biodistribution of (89) Zr-labeled cetuximab in mice' Contrast Media and Molecular Imaging, vol 8, no. 5, pp. 402-8
  • Marega, R, Karmani, L, Flamant, L, Nageswaran, PG, Valembois, V, Masereel, B, Feron, O, Vander Borght, T, Lucas, S, Michiels, C, Gallez, B & Bonifazi, D 2012, 'Antibody-functionalized polymer-coated gold nanoparticles targeting cancer cells: an in vitro and in vivo study' Journal of Materials Chemistry, vol 22, no. 39, pp. 21305-21312.
  • Bouchat, V, Moreau, N, Valembois, V, Abbas, K, Feron, O, Gallez, B, Holzwartz, U, Masereel, B, Michiels, C, Simonelli, F, Vander Borght, T & Lucas, S 2011, 'On the use of radioisotopes to study the possible synthesis by magnetron sputtering of bimetallic nanoparticles' Surface and Coatings Technology, vol 205, no. 21-22, pp. 4934-4940.
  • Moreau, N, Feron, O, Gallez, B, Masereel, B, Michiels, C, Vander Borght, T, Rossi, F & Lucas, S 2011, 'Chemical reactivity of Plasma Polymerized Allylamine (PPAA) thin films on Au and Si: study of the thickness influence and ageing of the films' Surface and Coatings Technology, vol 205, no. SUPPL. 2, pp. S462-S465.
  • Masereel, B, Dinguizli, M, Moniotte, N, Bouzin, C, Feron, O, Gallez, B, Vander Borght, T, Michiels, C & Lucas, S 2011, 'Antibody immobilization on gold nanoparticles coated layer-by-layer with polyelectrolytes' Journal of Nanoparticle Research, vol 13, no. 4, pp. 1573-1580.
  • Bouchat, V, Feron, O, Gallez, B, Masereel, B, Michiels, C, Vander Borght, T, Rossi, F & Lucas, S 2011, 'Carbon nanoparticles synthesized by sputtering and gas condensation inside a nanocluster source of fixed dimension' Surface and Coatings Technology, vol 205, no. S2, pp. S577-S581.

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