JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 369

  • Home
  • News
  • Press
  • Nanocapsules “3-in-1” for in vivo biomedical imaging: an ICMAB and VHIR study


Nanocapsules “3-in-1” for in vivo biomedical imaging: an ICMAB and VHIR study

An interdisciplinary research group synthesizes drug delivery nanocapsules with three contrast agents for three biomedical imaging techniques to study their biodistribution. The approach is modular and allows including the contrast agents together or separately on the nanocapsules, without affecting their size or shape, nor interfering with the encapsulated therapeutic agent. The study is co-led by researchers from VHIR and ICMAB-CSIC, and is part of a European project (MAGBBRIS) to prepare safe, biocompatible and biodegradable nanomaterials for biomedical imaging and brain repair after stroke.
Mar 17, 2020

Nanomedicine is largely focused on the design of nanosystems as diagnostic and therapeutic tools (teragnosis), i.e. on the design of nanomaterials for the identification of pathologies using biomedical imaging techniques, and for the control release of therapeutic agents for its treatment.

A research group from the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) and the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), in collaboration with CICbiomaGUNE (Basque Country) and the University of Artois ( France), have developed nanocapsules that can be administered intravenously and their biodistribution in vivo can be visualized using three different medical imaging techniques.

Nanocapsules are used for drug delivery of insoluble, highly sensitive, or multi-components drugs. Nanocapsules also protect the encapsulated drug from degradation, inactivation or clearance, and reduce its toxicity, if it is the case. Furthermore, nanocapsules allow the functionalization or modification of its surface, so contrast agents for biomedical imaging can be chemically attached, as is the case in this study.

The biomedical imaging techniques used in this study include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fluorescence (blue and near-infrared) and positron emission tomography (PET). All three are non-invasive diagnostic by imaging and experimental research tools that allow to visualize where the nanocapsules are in the organisms in real time.

Figure: Nanocapsule with the three contrast agents in the shell and the therapeutic agent in the inside. 

Using more than one contrast agent to study the in vivo biodistribution of a nanodrug provides additional information, since the three imaging techniques have different sensitivity and resolution limits, and can be used at different levels of drug development, or to detect biodistribution in different tissues of the human body.

The nanocapsules are made of a biodegradable and biocompatible biopolymer, PLGA (poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid)), approved by the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration). The study confirms that they are safe both in vivo and in vitro.

Furthermore, the particularity of the nanocapsules synthesized in this study is that they have been functionalized in a modular way, since the three imaging probes can be added and removed separately or simultaneously. "This fact allows that in each nanodrug development, a different imaging technique can be used to validate the results" explains Anna Roig, researcher who leads the study at the ICMAB.

These contrast agents are used in all three biomedical imaging techniques, maintaining the size and shape of the nanocapsules, and without cross interference with the others or with the drug encapsulated inside the nanocapsule.

"A great challenge in nanomedicine is how to make a local non-invasive administration of nanomaterials with a controlled release of the therapeutic agent, especially in difficult-access tissues, such as the brain. Thus, having new biocompatible formulations that allow in vivo neuroimaging monitoring are necessary in pre-clinical research phases to assess the development of specific treatments", explains Anna Rosell, researcher who leads the study at VHIR.

"To succeed in translating nanomaterials prepared in the laboratory into clinical trials, we must synthesize nanomaterials as simply as possible for their final application. This is why the modular strategy we are presenting is interesting, in which neither the morphology nor the size of the nanocapsule is modified by adding or removing contrast agents" says Anna Roig.

The study is led by Anna Rosell, Head of the Research Group on Neurovascular Diseases at VHIR, and Anna Roig, Research Professor at ICMAB-CSIC in the Group of Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites. The two researchers participate in the European project MAGBBRIS devoted to "New magnetic biomaterials for brain repair and biomedical imaging after stroke" (coordinated by Rosell). This study, now published in the journal Nanoscale, is part of this project, and is the first step before testing the efficiency of nanocapsules in repair therapies after stroke.

ICMAB and VHIR Communication

Reference Article (Open Access):

PLGA protein nanocarrier with tailor-made fluorescence/MRI/PET imaging modalitiesYajie Zhang, Miguel García-Gabilondo, Alba Grayston, Irene V. J. Feiner, Irene Anton-Sales, Rodrigo A. Loiola, Jordi Llop, Pedro Ramos-Cabrer, Ignasi Barba, David Garcia-Dorado, Fabien Gosselet, Anna Rosell and Anna Roig
Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 4988-5002. DOI: 10.1039/C9NR10620K


Hits: 1518

Also at ICMAB

  • Postdoc Talk: "Rational Engineering of Binary Oxides and Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Applications" by Claudio Cazorla

    29 January 2021 1155 hit(s) ICMAB Events
    We would like to invite you to the first Online ICMAB Periodical Lecture of 2021: Rational Engineering of Binary Oxides and Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Applications by Claudio Cazorla, Departament de Física, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona Monday, 15 February 2020 @ 12 pm Online Invited Seminar by Zoom. Register here to attend.PostDoc Talks cycle
  • New COVER in "Organometallics" on boron-based antimicrobial and antifungal agents

    28 December 2020 1554 hit(s) Press
    The Organometallics journal (ACS Publications) features in its COVER the recently published article "Metallacarborane Assemblies as Effective Antimicrobial Agents, Including a Highly Potent Anti-MRSA Agent" by ICMAB researcher, Clara Viñas and co-workers from ICMAB, Universitat de Girona, Universidad de Córdoba and Durham University (UK).
  • New SCN2 Direction Board with two ICMABers: Pamela Machado and Jordi Floriach Clark

    18 December 2020 2302 hit(s) Awards
    Pamela Machado, ICMAB PhD fellow, is the new President of the Catalan Society of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SCN2), and Jordi Floriach Clark, ICMAB MSc fellow, is the new Communication Manager. They both start this new role in the SCN2 with a lot of enthusiasm and exciting future plans!
  • Aireamos platform to stop aerosol transmission of Covid-19

    11 December 2020 1500 hit(s) Press
    The Aireamos platform is the result of the efforts of different Spanish research groups and entities that are studying the virus transmission mechanism via aerosol by analyzing CO2 levels in air. The platform was presented via Youtube on 3 December 2020. Albert Verdaguer, ICMAB researcher, is part of this group.
  • Judith Guasch in Onda Cero Radio: mimicking lymph-nodes to proliferate T cells

    09 December 2020 1037 hit(s) Press
    Judith Guasch is interviewed in Onda Cero Radio on 21 November 2020 in the programme "De cero al infinito" con Paco de León, to talk about her recent research on hydrogels to mimic lymph nodes for cancer immunotherapy. 

INSTITUT DE CIÈNCIA DE MATERIALS DE BARCELONA, Copyright © 2020 ICMAB-CSIC | Privacy Policy | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.