3g-Nanotechnology based targeted drug delivery using the inner ear as a model target organ

Project Highlights

Internal Nanoear Link:

The NANOEAR consortium is developing therapies for inner ear disorders. Using nanoparticles that are targetable to selected cell populations, biodegradable, traceable in-vivo, and equipped with controlled drug release, we intend to revolutionise inner ear treatments. With over 44 million EU citizens with hearing loss and 40 000 profoundly deaf who could immediately benefit from new approaches, the inner ear is a unique and compelling organ to investigate.

The measures of function and structural integrity are quantitative, precise, and objective, permitting detection of loss of a single sensory cell. Moreover, the population of profoundly deaf with cochlear implants, and commercial partners concerned with improving the benefits of sensory neuroprostheses through tissue engineering strategies, provide a direct pathway to eventual clinical application of NP-drug complexes produced by this research consortium. Cochlear Implants are the most economically successful type of neuroprosthesis.

Our nanoparticles will carry and release drug/gene precisely to targeted tissue sites and selected cells. In this research consortium we investigate 8 classes of nanoparticles that are constructed to test the delivery of molecules/drugs/genes. Our nanoparticles are made by demand, providing our in vitro and in vivo partners unparralleled access to cutting edge delivery systems.

Five commercial enterprises are part of our consortium, however our active role in translating technologies into products, plus our research activities could be enticing for new industrial partners in 2009 and 2010. Not all our technologies are based upon in vivo drug development, and opportunities exist for diagnostic and toxicity testing regimes.

Concerning current status of the program, we have nanoparticles targeted towards neurons, and are actively seeking methods to target hair cells and supporting cells. Our coating technologies are second-to-none and have a powerful resistance to protein adsorption, while providing a potent bioactive signal. We have some of the best innear ear researchers in Europe, and are generating fascinating results with our nanoparticle targeting systems. Furthermore, we have established model data sheets for NPs to be tested and model test protocols for toxicity testing and determining the efficacy of infecting the cells.

The future of inner ear treatment is exciting, and we aim to take delivery to another level.


Fourth year annual meeting

The fourth year annual meeting of NANOEAR project will be held in Athens on the 18th to 20th October 2010.

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Mid-Winter Training Course

Our internal mid-winter meeting on targeting and visualisation of NPs will be held at UTA on 18th to 20th January 2010

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Third year annual meeting

The third year annual meeting of NANOEAR project will be held in Crete on the 7th to 11th October 2009.

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