Three major ongoing research projects:
1. 5-Aminolevulinic Acid-based Photopheresis
This project uses the PDT principle to develop a technology to photodeplete highly proliferative/activated T cells that are involved in malignant and non-malignant diseases.
2. Sonoactivable Nanotheragnostics for Cancer Treatment
This EU project aimed at developing liquid-cored stable nanoemulsions (NEs) of perfluorocarbon suitable for tumor imaging and controlled therapy. These NEs were optimized with a fluorinated surfactant ensuring their water solubility and stability. Thanks to their fluorinated core the NEs can be detected by 19F MRI or by echography after vaporization. The core/shell of the NEs can also be loaded with a sono/photo-sensitizer (eg. PpIX) to induce ultrasound- or light-mediated tumor damage.
3. Nanoscintillator-Porphyrin Complexes for Bimodal RadioPhotoDynamic Therapy
This EU project develops a bimodal cancer treatment modality by combining two clinically used radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy, mediated by theranostic nanoparticles (composed of nanoscintillators and photosensitisers). Upon exposure to ionizing radiation the nanoscintillators (polysiloxane core/terbium oxide) transfers the X-ray energy to the tethered photosensitiser that produces cytotoxic singlet oxygen. With this novel therapeutic approach the problem of limited visible light penetration into solid tumour tissue in PDT can be solved. In addition, this new modality will allow treatment of deep tumours with lower radiation doses than those in conventional radiotherapy.