Short description of the 4 projects: diagnostic markers for Respiratory Tract tumors, GI Tract tumors, Head and Neck tumors, Female Reproductive Tract tumors.
Development of the specific bimodal markers for non/mini-invasive detection of cancers/metastases. Applicable for the GI -tract tumors, tumors of female reproductive tract, tumours of the respiratory tract, lung cancers and metastases (in this tissue with 100% specificity), and tumours of the head and neck area. Target detection method: MRI and fluorescent bronchoscopy for the whole-organism screening, precise delineation of the tumours during fluorescence guided biopsy and fluorescence guided surgery. Markers based on the Zirconium (bio-stable) or Zinc (bio-degradable) oxides doped with rare-earth ions for MRI contrast and/or fluorescent excitation/emission range within visible light range (tuned to non-photo-toxic, widely available illumination sources commonly used in medical applications).
Applicability for screening purposes, non-invasive detection of tumours and metastases (MRI), fluorescence guided biopsy and fluorescence guided surgery.
Proposed nanoparticles solve several medical problems regarding tumour detection:
1. Oral route of entry – proposed nanoparticles are easily absorbable from the duodenum (small intestine) after oral gavage, since proposed formulation would be capsule. Thus no problems regarding dispersion and suspension stability required by intravenous application. Also solves the problem of PEG (or other ionic substances) which were used for nanoparticle coating to achieve stability in suspension – the uptake by white blood cells.
2. No gadolinium used, hence no problems of long-term kidney and brain deposition and toxic effects. Confirmed bio-compatibility in variety of studies – from cell cultures to acute, chronic and multiple dose application on laboratory animals.
3. Confirmed biodegradation (for ZnO based NPs and elimination from the organism (ZrO2 NPs).
4. Strictly physical way of tumour accumulation via EPR effect based on different properties of the endothelial barrier in the tumours and lack of lymph drainage from the tumour site.
Thus enable detection of all solid tumours regardless of their type.
5. Fluorescence excitation does not require harmful UV spectrum and is based on both visible-light excitation and emission.
How this particular scientific projects on diagnostic markers surpass already existing current diagnostic methods available on the market?
Currently all MRI contrasts used in the medicine are based on gadolinium which toxic effects and accumulation in the kidneys and brain were confirmed in the literature. Safety of the material was confirmed not only for acute exposition but also during chronic exposure and after multiple (daily or weekly) applications. Excitation-emission spectra of nanoparticle fluorescence are tuned to the typical visible-light spectrum commonly used in the medical applications and research.
Markers based on the Zirconium (biostable) or Zinc (biodegradable) oxides doped with rare-earth ions for MRI contrast and/or fluorescent excitation/emission range within visible light range (tuned to non-photo-toxic, widely available illumination sources commonly used in medical applications).