Blog Archives

Paving the way towards breaking the barrier of delivery: siRNA endosomal escape

Biological barriers impede the application of bio-macromolecule based drugs in the clinics [1]. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) based drugs can be delivered to cells via endocytosis to silence the expression of disease causing genes [1, 2]. A major bottleneck in delivery, however, is the escape of siRNAs from endosomes to cytosol,

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Sticky Icky Mucus-Overcoming Barriers in Cancer

Mucus is very difficult to clean off and it is usually a tough job trying to maintain hygiene when suffering from a flu. This should not make you fret, as its stickiness is a key in-built feature that mediates its functions. Bacteria, viruses, and dust find it equally as hard as us to escape from mucus.

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Nanomedicine and Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal neurological disorder causing cognitive and behavioural impairments. It affects over 35 million people worldwide and one in nine over the age of 69 alone [1]. Despite being first described in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer and considerable research efforts made, promising diagnosis and therapy approaches are very slow in progress.

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Why RNAi can be a solution to breast cancer

PC_BreastCancerThe word “Cancer” (or malignant tumour or neoplasm) refers to a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. It is characterized by rapid creation of abnormal cells that overgrow by invading the organ from which they originated (formation of the primary tumour) and spread to other organs where can give arise to secondary tumours (metastases) which are the major cause of death from cancer 1.

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Three Dimensional Tissue Constructs

Tissue cellular variation is orchestrated by various biological processes that root from early formation and development of germ layers until late adulthood. The cellular organization, homeostasis and maintenance of each tissue are crucial for the normal function of organs and their harmonized co-function. The molecular pathways that control this balance within an organ differ accordingly with embryonic or adult age.

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In Vivo Biomolecule Corona around Blood-Circulating Liposomes

Nanoparticles are instantly modified once injected in the bloodstream because of their interaction with the blood components.  The adsorption of proteins and their layering onto nanoparticle surfaces has been called the ‘protein corona’ and has been postulated as a determinant factor for the pharmacological, toxicological and therapeutic profile of NPs.

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The university-industry cooperation challenge

The need for collaboration between universities and industries is increasingly critical, as public funding is focused on scientific research which has demonstrable potential for wealth creation, and not just the advancement of knowledge. Although universities and public research organisations (PRO) perform more than 35 percent of all research undertaken in Europe,

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PathChooser Consortium Meeting April 2015

Delivering therapeutic cargos to target sites for medical applications is hampered by multiple levels of barriers. For successful delivery, the therapeutic cargo has to cross, for example, a blood vessel, placenta or mucus layer in the lungs depending on the target, deeply penetrate the tissue by transcytosis, efficiently internalize into target cells by endocytosis and escape from the endo-lysosomal compartments to the cytosol if the therapeutic cargo’s action is in the cytosol.

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A future for in vitro models in nanoparticle studies

As a result of the rapid expansion in the use of nanoparticles (NPs) in recent years, it is imperative that we advance our understanding of NP interactions with biological systems in order to establish safety standards and improve the design of nanomaterials. Such mechanisms can of course be investigated in in vivo systems,

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Nanomedicine and lysosomal storage disorders

Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are a group of ~50 genetic diseases of lysosomal function resulting in an intra-lysosomal accumulation of undegraded material with a combined incidence of 1:5.000 live births (Fuller et al. 2006). The clinical phenotype of LSDs varies widely from skeletal and visceral manifestation to severe CNS involvement depending on the defective protein and storage material involved.

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Posted in Fellows Updates