Nano4Neuro

Project Image:
Title of the project:

Nano4Neuro

Teasertext:
Nano-Functionalised Implants for the Regenerative Treatment of Spinal Cord and Nerve Lesions
Summary:
Neurobiological testing of siRNA nanoparticles in the peripheral nervous system
Start:
01.04.2010
End:
31.03.2013
Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schlosshauer
Project funding:
  • Europäische Union
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management:
  • VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH
Funding reference number:
13N01136
Text:

Spinal cord injuries and damage to the peripheral nervous system cannot be cured, or only to a limited extent. Nerve regeneration is mainly prevented by gaps in the tissue, scarring and inhibitory proteins. These inhibitory components are to be overcome with the aid of tailor-made siRNA nanoparticles in combination with resorbable biomaterial prostheses.

Description:

Spinal cord injuries and damage to the peripheral nervous system cannot be cured, or only to a limited extent. Nerve regeneration is mainly prevented by gaps in the tissue, scarring and inhibitory proteins. Nanomedical approaches promise innovative regenerative therapies in addition to traditional methods. The Nano4Neuro project offers a new interdisciplinary concept in the field of materials science and biomedical research. This project combines nanostructured resorbable implants with molecular biological nanotherapeutics.

Nanostructured, resorbable implants (tubes containing filaments) with nanopores are used. These guarantee nutrient exchange and at the same time prevent the infiltration of interfering cells. These biomaterial-based implants are used to specifically bridge lesion sites in nerve tissue. Nanotherapeutics such as oligonucleotide biomaterial nanoparticles are integrated into the aforementioned implant and will thus modulate specific cellular processes in order to a) specifically counteract scarring and b) desensitise growing neurites against growth-inhibiting proteins in adult nerve tissue. The intracellular signalling pathways of neurites are therapeutically modified by the suppression of central proteins. This inhibition of proteins takes place by switching off the associated genes by means of ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi).

For a possible clinical application of the RNAi technology (Nobel Prize 2006) in the nervous system, we will concentrate in particular on the production of siRNA nanoparticles. This includes new cell-specific products in connection with the macro-implant. The introduction of these nanotherapeutics into the biomaterial of the implant will mean a new, innovative release of the active ingredient at the target site. The nano-biofunctionalized implants will be tested in preclinical lesion models of the peripheral nervous system and spinal cord in rats. Nanotherapeutics technology is a cross-sectional technology that could easily be applied in many other medical indication areas. The combined, far-reaching competencies of the European countries will enable us to achieve the goals of this interdisciplinary regenerative therapy concept.

Project partners:
  • Dänemark/Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO) - Åarhus University
  • Deutschland/ITV Denkendorf Produktservice GmbH (ITVP)
  • Frankreich/University Paris-IX
  • Schweden/IMB (Integrative Medical Biology)  Umeå University
  • UMR CNRS 8612