The long-cherished dream of the magic-bullet coming true? The promises of nanoparticles for diangosis and therapy

The magic -bullet! DIRNANO longs to this mythic perfect curing agent:

A drug which is so deadly, like a rifle bullet, but which can be shot only unto cancer cells, without side effects on other healthy cells!! A totally selective and powerful cancer poison or killer is expected to cure cancer. Nanoparticles may eventually realize this expectation.

If you think of a small drug, today still mostly used to treat cancer, it is difficult to image the way to have in such unit, made of few atoms both efficacy and selectivity.

However, if we imagine to conjugate or to load such drug into a nanocarrier we may add to our curing assemble other functions. Not only the transport of particulate units of drugs, shield from other body component, but also the specific binding to disease cells using superficial ligands recognizing neoplastic-selectively expressed antigens. Eventually we may also try to ensure the release, or breaking of the nanocarrier into the target cells.

Basically, the idea is that, although small, nanoparticles are big enough to contain differential molecules ensuring multiple functions useful to carry, transport, target and release a drug only to the desired target cell, possibly also sending some signal to spot these diseased cells in the body: such marvelous agent is called a nanotheranostics (or a nanoparticle with therapeutic and diagnostic abilities – the modern name of the “magic bullet”!!)The magic -bullet! DIRNANO longs to this mythic perfect curing agent: a drug which is so deadly, like a rifle bullet, but which can be shot only unto cancer cells, without side effects on other healthy cells!! A totally selective and powerful cancer poison or killer is expected to cure cancer. Nanoparticles may eventually realize this expectation.

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INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECT: Protein composition and functional effects of the species-specific biomolecular corona formation on NPs

As nanomedicine and nanoparticle-based formulations pave the way for a new generation of pharmaceutics, a…
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956544
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