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Partículas de óxido multifuncionales para diagnósticos completos y tratamiento del cáncer


Oferta Tecnológica
Un grupo de I+D ruso ha desarrollado una tecnología de fabricación de partículas de óxido mesoporoso infiltradas con sexquióxidos de gadolinio y europio. Esta tecnología puede aplicarse en terapia por captura de neutrones del cáncer y en diagnóstico de tumores como agente de contraste para producir imágenes por resonancia magnética y como biomarcador luminiscente. Dependiendo de los requisitos, las partículas pueden tener un diámetro entre 100 y 1.000 nm. Se busca cooperación técnica para diagnóstico y caracterización estructural del material obtenido y realizar experimentos in vitro/in vivo y ensayos preclínicos y clínicos.


Multifunctional oxide particles for complex diagnostics and therapy of cancer
An R&D group from St.Petersburg developed a fabrication technology for mesoporous oxide particles infiltrated with gadolinium and europium sesquioxides. It enables their application in neutron-capture therapy of cancer and in tumor diagnostics as magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent and as luminescent biomarker. Technical cooperation is sought for diagnostics and structural characterization of the obtained material, in vitro/in vivo biological experiments, preclinical and clinical trials.
Chemotherapy is the most widespread method of cancer treatment nowadays, when chemical substances (cytostatic drugs) are injected into blood. These cytostatic substances induce cancer cells necrosis. The main drawback of the method is that highly toxic cytostatic drugs, being introduced into the blood-vascular system, also damage healthy tissues.
Neutron-capture therapy (NCT) is considered to be the most promising alternative approach. The patient is injected with a tumor-accumulated drug containing non-radioactive isotope (boron or gadolinium). After that, the patient is radiated with epithermal neutrons, which interact with the capture element, thereby resulting in biologically destructive nuclear capture reaction.
Existing drugs for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and NCT are not enough tumor-selective. This is the main limitation that prevents wide clinical use of NCT. These drugs are nanoparticles of irregular shape with a great size variation (dozens percent), which results in their capture not only by tumor cells but also by other organs.
The most promising materials for NCT are thought to be gadolinium (Gd) compounds, because their cross section to capture neutrons is 100 times greater, than that of boron, what makes its application much more effective (to date, Gd neutron-capture therapy is in phase of experiment).
The Russian team have developed a technology for synthesis of oxide SiO2-Gd2O3:Eu particles with regular spherical shape and strictly predetermined diameter (suitable for cancer cells capture) and identical gadolinium content. Therefore, on the basis of these particles, a highly selective drug for simultaneous MR imaging of tumors and their NCT treatment might be produced.
The authors have synthesized monodisperse spherical mesoporous silica particles with size standard deviation less than 10%. Mean diameter controllably vary in the range of 100-1000 nm.
The particles have following properties: specific surface area 800±50 m2/g, pore diameter 3.0±0.2 nm, pore volume 60±5% of particle volume.
The procedure of synthesis of Gd2O3:Eu3+ within the pores of silica particles is developed.
Fill factor controllably varies in the range of 0-80 vol. %
It is experimentally determined that multifunctional oxide particles have the following characteristics:
- Particles content (composition): silica, gadolinium and europium oxides;
- Diameter of particles is ranging from 100 to 1000 nm according to requirements;
- Size standard deviation of particles less than 10%;
- Gadolinium and europium oxides content is up to 80 vol. %.
Multifunctional spherical oxide particles can be applied as MRI contrast agent, therapeutic agent in neutron-capture therapy and biomarker in spectroscopic diagnostics.
Potential consumers:
1. Medical institutions realizing neutron-capture therapy of cancer
2. Clinics carrying out diagnostics by means of MR tomography
3. Medical research-and-development institutions searching for novel methods of cancer treatment and its evolution in vivo and in vitro diagnostics, carrying out biological experiments over laboratory animals
The authors seek partners, specialized in preclinical and clinical trials, in vivo and in vitro biological experiments, for co-operative implementation of diagnostics and structural characterization of the obtained material, and also companies that deal with medical market research.
Advantages and Innovations:
Regular spherical shape and defined diameter with small size variation are the key parameters that provide for the nanoparticles' selective targeted penetration into a tumor. Fabrication of monodisperse spherical gadolinium sesquioxide (Gd2O3) particles is impossible, because of its crystallinity (which means faceting and preferential growth orientation).
The authors have developed a technology of SiO2-Gd2O3:Eu particles synthesis on the base of amorphous silica template, which contains inner system of uniform pore channels (mesopores). Since mesoporous SiO2 particles consist of amorphous material, they are spherical and uniform both in size and shape. Such particles can be applied for diagnostics and targeted therapy of cancer simultaneously. Moreover, both therapy and diagnostics will have a complex character. The targeted delivery of particles into the tumor is provided due to the identical hydrodynamic properties of oxide particles, resulting from their ideal spherical shape and uniform size.
The authors have developed the methods of spherical SiO2 particles capillary infiltration by aqueous solutions of gadolinium and europium salts that allows avoiding the deposition of the bulk material on the particle surface and vary controllably pore filling ratio. They developed an approach to synthesis of europium-doped gadolinium sesquioxide within the pores. It consists in thermal decomposition of gadolinium and europium salts. This method won't affect the form and size of initial particles and will provide precise control over the active element (gadolinium) content in each particle, thus ensuring a precise drug dosage.
Hence, the proposed technology allows to fabricate nano-sized material with extremely high selectiveness, due to the particles monodispersity and the controllable content of active agent within the pores.
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
RF Patent Application 2014

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type of partner sought: SME, R&D, clinics, contract research organisations.
Partner area: Diagnostics and structural characterization of material, in vivo and in vitro biological experiments. Preclinical and clinical trials. Marketing research.
Tasks to be performed: Diagnostics and structural characterization of the material, in vivo and in vitro biological experiments. Preclinical and clinical trials. Marketing research.


Type and Size of Client:
R&D Institution
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
06001003 Citología, cancerología, oncología
06001002 Investigaciones clínicas, ensayos
05001003 Química inorgánica