Where Ideas grow
NanoBiomaterials for Targeted Therapies

ABOUT

 

Our aim is to develop "smart" biomaterials, designed at the nanoscale with controlled architectures and functionalities, to provide in situ and in a targeted manner the required signals to promote nervous tissue repair and restoration of function.

Main aims:

  • design of biomaterials at the nanoscale to induce specific cellular/tissue responses;
  • evaluate in vitro and in vivo the biological performance of the developed nanobiomaterials.

RESEARCH

 

Novel neuron targeted nanoparticles (NP) based on chitosan to deliver nucleic acids (NA) have been proposed and tested in vitro and in vivo. BDNF gene delivery mediated by the proposed nanosystems was found to be neuroprotective in peripheral nerve injury. The proposed NPs are highly versatile and transposable to other cell/tissues. As a proof, a collaboration was established in the design of NPs for NA delivery to the stomach in the treatment of gastric cancer.
Imaging flow cytometry, AFM and microfluidic platforms have also been proposed as new strategies to test NP bioperformance.

New hybrid-biodegradable, biocompatible, non-toxic, and water-soluble PEG–GATGE dendritic block copolymers have been proposed as novel degradable dendrimers for efficient and targeted nucleic acid delivery with the aim of neuroprotection and neurorepair of the ischemic brain.

We established a fibrin hydrogel platform with stiffness matching that of the human brain capable to support the survival, proliferation, and neuronal differentiation of single murine/human ES-derived neural stem/progenitor cells, envisaging its use for delivery of neural progenitors into the CNS. Fibrin functionalization with cell adhesive motifs binding to α6β1 integrin receptors further enhanced NSC neurite outgrowth and led to improved functional recovery after implantation in a SCI model.

A simple and reproducible 3D tissue engineered culture system of astrogliosis has been built, which mimics many features of the glial scar that is being explored in CNS drug screenings and remyelination strategies.

Ongoing projects are funded by FCT, INFARMED, H2020 ITN mCBEEs (www.mcbees.eu) and Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa and do Porto.

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“Smart" biomaterials, designed at the nanoscale with controlled architectures (one can see in the image nanoparticles, nanostructures and nanofibers) and functionalities, to provide in situ and in a targeted manner the required signals to promote nervous tissue repair and restoration of function.