Targeting tumours with theranostic systems, that combine delivery of drugs and imaging agents within a single vector, represents one of the most important innovation for cancer treatment. Thus the development of drug delivery systems, non-toxic and biodegradable is a challenging issue and nanomedicine has focused its interest on alternative biomaterials as proteins. One of the most investigated classes of proteins applicable in drug delivery are Ferritins and Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL). They can act as dual-functional tools exploiting “the innate “targeting ability of the protein cage to tumors and the ability in loading metal based probes within the internal core or on their surface to image tumors. In this contest, L- and H-apoferritins were used to deliver toxic iron or Gd based MRI contrast agents and curcumin, whereas LDL were loaded with dual Boron and Gd containing probes for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy applications.
BNCT is a non-conventional radiotherapy BNCT is an example of targeted therapy with good efficacy and low toxicity that provides a tumor selective cell death. More specifically, this therapy is able to combine low energy thermal neutron irradiation with the presence of boron containing agents at the targeted pathological tissues. Neutrons are captured by non-radioactive 10B yielding 11B nuclei that disintegrate into alpha particles and lithium-7 causing not reparable damage specifically to the cell where they were produced, while sparing the surrounding healthy ones thanks to short ranges (few micrometers) of these charged particles in tissues.
Simonetta Geninatti Crich graduated in Chemistry in 1993 and she got her Ph.D. in Biochemical Sciences at the University of Torino (Italy) in 1997. She is Associate Professor of General and Inorganic Chemistry at the Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences department. She is co-author of 97 original scientific papers in peer reviewed journals (H-index 36), 5 patents and 2 book chapters. She has given about 45 oral presentations nationally and internationally. She is member of ISNCT (International Congress on Neutron Capture Therapy) Executive Board (2016-2020) and of the GIDRM (Gruppo italiano risonanze magnetiche) Executive Board (2019-2023). Her current research is focused on the development and preparation of nanosized agents for the delivery of both therapeutic and MRI agents, on the setup of efficient cellular labeling procedures for both “in vitro” and “in vivo” pre-clinical models and on the development of innovative contrast agents for low field FFC-MRI applications.
Hosted by Clara Viñas, Inorganic Materials and Catalysis Group