S. Salmaso, C. Brazzale, F. Mastrotto, G. Mantovani, C. Alexander, P. Caliceti
University of Padova, IT

Keywords: Drug delivery, tumor targeting, smart nanocarriers, tumour therapy and diagnosis.


Advances in nanoscience have generated colloidal Stimuli sensitive materials with unprecedented functional properties for diagnosis and therapy. However, effective multifunctional colloidal systems requires a step-change in control of their biopharmaceutical properties. We propose a novel approach to produce colloidal systems for drug delivery and diagnosis. The approach will exploit gold nanoparticles as platform to target solid tumours for localized drug delivery and highly sensitive imaging of neoplastic tissues. The novelty of the approach is based on a unique combination, which simultaneously exploits 1; the environmental features of tumour tissues, which generally present acidic pH, and 2; selected tumour antigens, which confer specific phenotypic profiles. This combination acts as a ‘location signal’ that regulates a “mask-and-reveal” process of the targeting ligands for biorecognition solely in the area of disease. Tissue selectivity and therapeutic action of nano-devices will benefit from this approach. Polymer synthesis and bioconjugation, nanotechnology and in vitro/in vivo preclinical investigations will play a central role for the generation of novel responsive and functional materials, the assembly of the multicomponent system, and the biological characterization to assess the vehicle behaviour.