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CUPIDO at European Researchers’ Night

CUPIDO at European Researchers’ Night

The past weekend took place the European Researchers’ Nights: a large program of public events that bring researchers closer to the public. The events promote how researchers contribute to our society by displaying their work in an interactive and engaging forum. CUPIDO couldn't miss the chance to take part in this initiative and promote the work done by our team to develop inhalable nanoparticles that bring a drug to the heart. On Saturday 29th of September, the team of CNR-IRGB / Humanitas Research Hospital was at the science fair organized in Milan by the project MeetMeTonight (http://www.meetmetonight.it/milano/), where they engage the public in the journey of the nanoparticles through the body. The wonder that CUPIDO inspires in people is such a motivation booster!
A lightspot for CUPIDO at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2019

A lightspot for CUPIDO at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2019

This year CUPIDO arouse interest during the European Society of Cardiology Congress, one of the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2019 took place 31 August to 4 September at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris - France. Our project coordinator Daniele Catalucci and a representative of our pharma partner SANOFI, were there to present the innovative delivery system to the heart that CUPIDO is developing.  Dr. Catalucci presented the latest results showing that a novel inhaled miR-133-loaded nanoparticle delivery approach can prevent cardiac dysfunction in an experimental model (Abstract 3072). The presentation of Daniele was first highlighted in the Daily Science News distributed to all the participants (available online too), and it was also…
Best Poster Award at the Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials

Best Poster Award at the Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials

Our partner Lorenzo deli Esposti, PhD student at the ISTEC-CNR, won the best poster award at the 30th Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials,  held from September 9 to 13, in Dresden, Germany. The conference covered all aspects of biomaterial research and Lorenzo was there to present his latest results with the innovative biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles developed within Cupido. The presented results demonstrate that the inhalation of small (<50 nm in diameter)  calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CaPs) allows for their rapid translocation from the pulmonary tree to the bloodstream and to the heart, where their drug-cargo is quickly released. The poster won under the category Young Scientists  -  congratulation to Lorenzo for this achievement!  
Cardiovascular nanomedicine: the route ahead

Cardiovascular nanomedicine: the route ahead

What does the future hold for cardiovascular nanomedicine? The Journal of Nanomedicine asked our CUPIDO scientists to share their view on the topic in an editorial article. Cover of the Journal of Nanomedicine featuring the article. As they noticed, there is a huge gap in this area of medicine for novel therapeutics for improved patient outcomes. Nanotechnology may provide a solution to more effective treatment of disease, with better prognoses and a reduced side effect profile. In the review, the authors explore potential solutions to the limited pharmacological therapies currently on the market and the future that lies ahead for the place of nanotechnology within cardiovascular medicine. Indeed, while application of nanomedicine in patients afflicted by cardiovascular diseases is still in its infancy; as CUPIDO demonstrates, biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles…
Electromagnetic-mediated guidance to the heart

Electromagnetic-mediated guidance to the heart

To improve the effective targeting of the heart, CUPIDO is exploring the possibility to employ an electromagnetic-mediated guidance. This promising technique employs magnetically responsive objects that can travel in the blood circulation and that are retained in the target organ by an external magnetic field. In CUPIDO, nanoparticles loaded with a drug become magnetically responsive thanks to the inclusion of iron. The targeted guidance will result into an increase of the drug concentration in the target area, thus minimizing its concentrations in other areas of the body and the related side effects. CUPIDO partners at CNR-ISTEC in collaboration with the company BIOEMTECH have successfully synthetized the magnetic nanoparticles following a new protocol [Adamiano et al. Acta Biomaterialia, 2018]. The studies to assess their behavior with cardiac cells are currently ongoing…
Back to high school for one day

Back to high school for one day

Entering a high-school should have felt like a trip to the past for Maria Barandalla Sobrados, a postdoc in the Signal Transduction in Cardiac Pathologies Lab at CNR-IRGB / Humanitas Clinical and Research Center. This time she was not there to attend lectures and pass exams but to share her experience as a researcher. For two hours, she interacted with a group of 75 last-year students from the scientific high school Italo Calvino in Rozzano, the city that hosts the laboratory where Maria works and conducts her research for CUPIDO. To communicate her research outside the academic walls is one of the duties foreseen in the postdoc fellowship that Maria won last year. The fellowship was awarded by Fondazione Veronesi, a foundation with the aim of promoting scientific research, health…
Nanomedicine to target the heart: the potential impact of CUPIDO

Nanomedicine to target the heart: the potential impact of CUPIDO

Nanomedicine, meaning the application of nanotechnology to the health sector, represents a promising approach for near future health care. Indeed, some nanopharmaceuticals has been approved by the FDA since the late 90s’ leading to remarkable advantages especially in the cancer field. Curiously, only very few attempts have been made to apply nanomedicine to cardiovascular disease area in spite it represents the leading cause of death worldwide. On the other side, inhalation has long been studied for the treatment of pulmonary diseases, but its use for targeting of the heart and management of cardiac failing conditions has not been explored. Inhalation is a viable delivery method to target the heart because oxygenated blood from lungs flows directly there via the pulmonary vein. The first hint on the phenomenon came from combustion-derived ultrafine…
One year and a half of CUPIDO

One year and a half of CUPIDO

One year and a half passed since CUPIDO project has started - it's time to wrap up the main outcomes collected so far within the project. The Cupido researchers had previously developed biocompatible and biodegradable calcium phosphate nanoparticles composed of a material that closely resembles bone and teeth. During the past year, they demonstrated that inhalation of such nanoparticles, when loaded with a known drug, succeed in restoring cardiac function in small animals (rodents) without causing any major adverse effects (publication in Science Translation Medicine). This preliminary result proves that the nanoparticle can readily translocate from the pulmonary tree to the heart, where the drug cargo is finally released. Furthermore, after inhalation, the nanoparticles rapidly accumulate in the heart of healthy pigs, encouraging the application of Cupido approach in large…
Guidance to the heart

Guidance to the heart

CUPIDO aims to improve the specificity to the heart by using a chemical-based targeting system. To achieve this aim, on the surface of the nanoparticles have been included aptamers that should enhance the internalization into myocardial cells. Aptamers, which are short single-stranded oligonucleotides of modified DNA or RNA, are emerging as very interesting molecules that can fold into complex tertiary structures and bind with high affinity to a cell-selective target. If the target is undergoing receptor-mediated cell internalization, it can serve as a carrier for intracellular delivery too. In CUPIDO the CNR-IRGB identified promising aptamers that target the myocardium and promote the internalization while the CNR-ISTEC functionalized and characterized the nanoparticles with the selected aptamers. Once the nanoparticle-aptamer systems were ready, the CNR-IRGB tested their behavior in vitro and confirmed…
The nanoparticle biodistribution

The nanoparticle biodistribution

During the last year, BET Solutions has managed to radiolabel the nanoparticles in order to follow their distribution in the body after administration. So far, the intravenous administration route was used as a reference since it represents the most commonly-used path to deliver pharmaceuticals into the body. The in vivo fate of the NPs was assessed through planar Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT) imaging, in combination with x-ray imaging. While the SPECT imaging provides a semi-quantitative picture of the accumulation of the nanoparticles in the organs throughout time, the x-ray imaging instead provides an anatomical image at very high resolution, that can act as an anatomical map. The combination of the two methods provides a detailed and clear biodistribution of the tracked nanoparticles up to 24 hours. In the future,…
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