(Closed) (MagTubeCancer) Magnetic Nanoparticles For Cancer Therapy: Collection And Elimination of Circulating Tumor Cells

At a glance

Title Magnetic Nanoparticles For Cancer Therapy: Collection And Elimination of Circulating Tumor Cells
Reference UTAP-EXPL/NPN/0059/2021
Scientific Area Nano Materials for New Markets
Funding (PT) 49 920 EUR
Funding (US) 50 000 USD
Leading Institutions Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S), PT

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering, UT Austin, USA

Duration 12 months 15 months
Start date March 1, 2022
End date February 28, 2023 May 28, 2023
Keywords Magnetic nanoparticles, Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

What is MagTubeCancer about?

There is a growing recognition that circulating tumour cells (CTCs) play a crucial role in the development of metastases.

Since more than 90% of cancer deaths are due to metastases, targeting and eliminating CTCs is a promising area of research that aims to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality, preventing metastasis at a very early stage.

The present project aims to develop a magnetic device to improve CTCs capturing efficiency from patients’ blood.

What critical challenges is MagTubeCancer addressing?

Only a small number of CTCs is present in the blood circulation and grow as a secondary tumour in a distant organ. Due to this, some methodologies already being used have a low detection and elimination rate of CTCs. With magnetic nanoparticles and an innovative device, the MagTubeCancer team expects to significantly improve CTCs capturing efficiency.

How does MagTubeCancer intend to improve capturing efficiency of CTCs?

Through a magnetic device with a simple and inexpensive design, able to handle large blood volumes without the need for blood separation techniques. There is a risk that inorganic magnetic nanoparticles present some blood compatibility issues. To avoid these problems, nanoparticles can be coated with a proper polymer to increase their biocompatibility and hemocompatibility. Furthermore, this treatment will have to be performed for several hours since CTCs circulate in a very small number in blood.

How is MagTubeCancer likely to impact cancer therapies?

The new method proposed in this project to collect and eliminate CTCs holds considerable promise for the future since it is already known that early diagnosis and treatment of metastases associated with CTCs not only improves survival rates for the patient but also drastically reduces treatment costs.

Furthermore, the new device proposed in the project should have a simple design, and its production should be cheaper than other target cancer therapies or immunotherapies.

Expected Key Outcomes

  • One patent registered;
  • Two papers published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals;
  • One Master degree dissertation.

Project Team

Marta Laranjeira

Principal Investigator in Portugal (Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde)

James Tunnell

Principal Investigator at UT Austin (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering)

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