Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2015
IMMUNOSHAPE aims at training a new generation of scientists that will be capable of combining state of the art synthesis and screening technology to develop new lead structures for highly selective glycan based multivalent immunotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases and allergy. To this end, we have set up a training program in a unique academic-industrial environment that will educate young researchers in scientific and practical biomedical glycoscience with the final aim to produce new talent and innovation in the field and improve their career perspectives in both academic and non-academic sectors. The unique combination of 10 academic groups with expertise in automated solid-phase carbohydrate synthesis, microarray based highthroughput screening technology, tumour immunology, structural glycobiology, multivalent systems and medicinal chemistry along with 4 industrial partners active in nanomedicine, immunotherapy, medicinal device development and the fabrication of scientific instrumentation will provide a multidisciplinary and multisectorial training to 15 ESRs in biomedical glycoscience and its industrial applications.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016
This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 1.22M | Year: 2015
HYMADE focuses on the development of capsules and engineered colloidal particles for drug delivery combining mesoporous colloids, the Layer by Layer (LbL) technique and virosomes. The capsules and particles have potential applications in cancer and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and uveitis. The project is based on the secondments of Early Stage Researchers and Experienced Researchers and networking and training activities between European and non European academic institutions. HYMADE aims to profit from the combination of hybrid materials to fabricate advanced drug delivery systems with controlled release and targeting efficiency of biological entities. The project also aims to gain understanding of the self assembly process of hybrid materials and the transport properties of the drug delivery systems.The biological fate, drug release, degradation and therapeutical efficiency of the drug delivery systems will be studied in vitro and in vivo with state of the art imaging techniques. To achieve these goals we have gathered an international multidisciplinary team with scientists at the forefront of Material Science, Self assembly, Physics, Chemistry, Biophysics and Imaging from Germany, Austria, France and Spain on the European side and from United States of America, Argentina and Armenia on the non European side.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2016
The drug development strategy currently pursued by the pharmaceutical industry worldwide is inefficient and unsustainable for the health care system. To keep the latter affordable, drug development should become more efficient and drug treatment should become more personalized and rationalized. Molecular imaging can play a pivotal role in changing the landscape of drug design/development and improving the health care system. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, in particular, is the technology that has the potential to lead this fundamental innovation by providing at a much earlier stage reliable answers to key questions emerging during the care cycle: what and where is the disease? Is the disease accurately targeted by the therapy? Is the treatment effective? By answering the questions above, PET imaging has the capacity to render much more effectively the transition from pre-clinical to clinical phase, and to strongly facilitate the development of better drugs at an earlier stage and in a much more sustainable manner. The main obstacle to this change of paradigm in drug design and development is the lack of suitably trained translational scientists directly involved in PET imaging and imaging scientists with high-profile training in chemistry and PET-radiochemistry, which is particularly dramatic in Europe. This consortium is ideally suited to fill this gap, by providing top-quality training to the next generation of translational PET imaging scientists who will play a key role in shaping the future of drug design and development. The PET3D ETN will focus on 15 cutting-edge research projects in the 3 main therapeutic areas (oncology, cardiovascular, central nervous system) that will be conducted by 15 ESRs at 8 European beneficiary Institutions, 6 academic (all having a PET center on site) and 2 non-academic (one with a PET center on site and one big pharmaceutical company) representing the drug design and development terminus of the project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.12M | Year: 2015
Based on an international team derived from the COST action BM1003 (www.cost-bm1003.info, 2011-2014) and thus relying on consolidated group interactions and synergies and on a unique combination of chemistry, biology, biophysics, biochemistry and pharmacology expertise, the TOLLerant project aims to gain information on molecular aspects of TLR4 activation and signaling by using synthetic and natural compounds and nanoparticles that interact selectively with some components (mainly MD-2 and CD14) of the TRL4 recognition system. TLR4 is an emerging molecular target related to an impressively broad spectrum of modern day disorders still lacking specific pharmacological treatment. These include autoimmune disorders, chronic inflammations, allergies, asthma, infectious and CNS diseases and cancer. The short-term scientific objective is to develop novel, non-toxic, synthetic and natural TLR4 modulators (agonists or antagonists) and to assess their therapeutic potential on animal models of TLR4-related acute and chronic pathologies that still lack efficient pharmacological treatment. The long-term scientific objective is to develop a new generation of innovative, TLR4-based therapeutics, to be used as vaccine adjuvants, anti-sepsis agents, and anti-inflammatory agents to treat chronic inflammations (allergy, asthma). The training programme will provide Early Stage Researchers (ESR) with broad competences, experience and skills in the cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary research in the field of chemical biology related to the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and inflammation. During the training, the young researchers will be supported by senior scientists to cultivate their scientific, entrepreneurial and inter-cultural mindset. The non-academic sector will be committed to provide ESRs with entrepreneurship and company management skills, in order to enhance their employability by the private sector or even to motivate them to create own start-up companies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 967.50K | Year: 2017
The CARBO-IMmap project involves key players in Europe, US, Qatar and China with the aim to advance the field of carbon nanomaterial development and their exploitation biomedical applications. The long-range goal of Carbo-IMmap is to develop a functional pipeline for the immune-characterization of carbon nanomaterials, for the qualitative and quantitative assessment in vitro and ex vivo of the human immune compatibility and immune activity of newly developed carbon materials. The project aims to: 1) design and synthetize a panel of 5 types of highly stable and water-soluble nanomaterials, characterized by finely tuned properties by controlling their size and composition, and to obtain these nanomaterials in large amounts with nearly identical size and shape and degree of functionalization; 2) achieve a quantitative understanding of the immune activity (stimulation/ anergy/ suppression) of the selected materials upon the 5 subpopulations of the immune blood cells; 3) correlate the physicochemical properties (size and chemical functionalization) of the nanomaterials with their immune properties; 4) establish a consolidated network between leading EU and extra-EU institutes to provide a stimulating international environment for talented young researchers; 5) advance the level of R&D in participant countries and foster technology transfer and dissemination; 6) raise the awareness of the general public on the prospects of carbon nanomaterials in future biomedical applications. Scientists will be formed by training by research stays at host labs, leading to an interdisciplinary and international formation. Funding of this program will enable long-term, transformative research collaborations that will contribute to the integration and collaboration of research groups of 4 European Countries (Germany, Italy, France and Spain) and 3 key non-EU Countries: USA, China and Qatar.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.72M | Year: 2016
The precise synthesis of nano-devices with tailored complex structures and properties is a requisite for their use in nanotechnology and medicine. Nowadays, the technology for the generation of these devices lacks the precision to determine their properties, and is accomplished mostly by trial and error experimental approaches. Bottom-up self-assembly that relies on highly specific biomolecular interactions of small and simple components, is an attractive approach for nanostructure templating. Here, we propose to overcome aforementioned challenges by using self-assembling protein building blocks as templates for nanofabrication. In nature, protein assemblies govern sophisticated structures and functions, which are inspiration to engineer novel assemblies by exploiting the same set of tools and interactions to create nanostructures with numerous potential applications in synthetic biology and nanotechnology. We hypothesize that we can rationally assemble a variety functional nanostructures by the logical combination of simple protein building blocks with specified properties. We propose to use a designed repeat protein scaffold for which we acquired a deep understanding of its molecular structure, stability, function, and inherent assembly properties. Only few conserved residues define the structure of the building block, which allow us to mutate its sequence to modulate assembly properties and to introduce reactive functionalities without compromising the structure of the scaffolding molecule. First, we will design a collection of protein-based nanostructures. Then, we will introduce reactive functionalities to create hybrid nanostructures with nanoparticles, metals and electro-active molecules. Finally, these conjugates will be used to build nano-devices such as nanocircuits, catalysts and electroactive materials. The outcome of this project will be a modular versatile platform for the fabrication of multiple protein-based hybrid functional nanostructures.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-POC | Phase: ERC-PoC-2015 | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2016
The Biopharmaceuticals market is currently valued at about 150,000 million euros with an annual growth rate of 6 %. Biopharmaceutical products are mainly obtained from cells cultured in contained systems. Adherent cells represent an important share of the cell types used in production processes and are the major source of cell therapy products. Productivity of current processes for adherent cells culture lags behind those based on suspension cells and the reasons for this imbalance are to be found mainly on the low volumetric productivity and automation of current processes for adherent cells culture. Recovery of cells from the surface they are attached to, the so-called cell harvest is commonly performed by disrupting the interaction of the cells with the support by manually introducing hydrolyzing enzymes into the culture device. These enzymes attack the cell at the adhesion point driving them into suspension for further recovery. Due to the manual nature of the cell harvest step, the exposure of cells to the external environment during the enzymatic treatment and the harsh biochemical conditions, this is one of the least efficient steps in the production process and poses an important risk of damaging and contaminating the culture. The idea proposed in this project for Proof of Concept will turn the cell harvest step into an automated, non-invasive and efficient step in the cell culture process. To achieve this goal we will introduce nanostructured modifications in the cell culture support by immobilising gold nanoparticles of defined size and shape, in certain geometrical patterns. The resulting cell culture support interacts with low energy electromagnetic radiation coming from an external and non-invasive source, creating localised hyperthermal effects at the locations of the immobilized nanoparticles and leading to the release of growing cells. Results of successful preliminary experiments are the basis of a recently submitted patent application.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 170.12K | Year: 2016
The real challenge in the field of nanomaterials is to fabricate hybrid systems that can function as smart materials in a wide variety of applications. Hybrid systems possessing protein templates can be potential candidates in this direction due to the wide variety of applications possible in biological systems. The project outlined below aims at the synthesis of novel hybrid conjugates based on protein templates and gold/silver nanoparticles (NPs)/nanorods (NRs) as plasmonic materials to generate chiral plasmons. Different proteins will be utilized for the fabrication of two different chiral templates: (i) helical one dimensional aggregates and (ii) chiral crystals. The plasmonic metal NPs/NRs can be introduced on these templates utilizing electrostatic and covalent interactions resulting in chiral plasmons. The mechanism of chirality transfer from the template to NPs/NRs can be studied by the detailed crystallographic investigations of the template, nanoparticle and their heterojunctions. The extent of chirality transfer would depend largely on the nature of the template and hence the project aims at fabricating hybrid systems wherein the transfer of chirality from the template to the plasmonic material is efficient. The hybrid systems can be used for enhancing the spectroscopic signals of molecules in Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS). Our ultimate goal is to utilize the hybrid chiral systems as biosensors (i) for the detection of assembly and disassembly of proteins as well as (ii) for understanding crystallographic changes in medication. The importance of the first part is emphasized by the fact that the assembly of proteins is the cause for various neurodegenerative diseases and its disassembly can be an effective mode of therapy. On the other hand, the insulin is delivered to diabetic patients in the form of crystals and the slow crystal dissolution is the mode of supplying insulin into the blood stream. The importance of the two biological phenomena m
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 158.12K | Year: 2015
This project addresses the quest of new materials and approaches that nanotechnology requires to solve the current limitations of medicine. The potential to externally activate and control cellular processes inside the body by using light, or even to carry out treatments through drug delivery, photothermal and photodynamic therapies becomes a reality thanks to the use of especially tailored biocompatible nanoplatforms. However, the options are limited in terms of penetration depth, since most of the developed nanoplatforms work under visible light, which can only penetrate a few millimetres inside the body. Instead, the use of near-infrared wavelength allows light to travel distances in the centimetre range. Temperature is a key parameter for the metabolism of cells and to control chemical reactions. Therefore, we propose a hybrid nanoplatform that, working within the biological transparency windows in the near-infrared, optically measures and controls temperature with the accuracy that is required for biomedical applications. The novelty of the approach is based on coupling two different types of nanoparticles with complementary functionalities: lanthanide-doped materials as remote optical sensor to measure temperature, and metal nanoparticles with plasmon resonances in the near-infrared to exploit their excellent heating properties. This approach involves the development of new materials with outstanding physical properties for thermometry in the infrared (hardly existing now), as well as tailoring the heating properties of plasmonic nanoparticles with different morphologies (rods, stars or cages) and finally, the creation of a heater/thermometer hybrid structure and the study of its performance for in vitro photothermal therapies.