Ayache Bouakaz and the members of the project EU FP7 Sonodrugs are the recipients of the European Best Research Project Award in Nanotechnology 2013


on the June 20, 2013

The award was announced at the EuroNanoForum (ENF2013), Europe's largest Nanotechnology and Materials Conference, in Dublin.

Objectives of the Sonodrugs project (Image-controlled ultrasound-induced drug delivery):

The demographic changes in Europe towards an aging society will coincide with increasing morbidity of the population. European citizens need improved access to state-of-the-art medical care especially in oncology and cardiology, while keeping expenditures on healthcare affordable. New therapeutic options such as externally triggered local drug release at the diseased area hold promise to solve urgent medical needs: improved treatment with reduced side effects, fewer burdens to the patient and faster recovery after intervention. Nanomedicine, the application of nanomaterials and nanotechnology to healthcare, will enable breakthroughs in clinical practice. SONODRUGS addresses clinical needs by developing novel drug delivery technologies for localised treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer. SONODRUGS develops drug delivery concepts where drug release can be triggered by focused ultrasound induced pressure or temperature stimuli within the diseased tissue. New drug loaded nanocarriers will be designed for tailored drug delivery systems that respond to either of the two stimuli. Medical imaging, i.e. magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound imaging, will be used to guide, follow and quantify the drug delivery process. Therapy efficacy using different drug delivery systems will be assessed in vitro and subsequently in preclinical studies. Starting form research on a broad range of materials and drugs, two nanocarriers will be finally selected, optimized and produced on a pilot scale in combination with image-guided delivery tools and methods. SONODRUGS binds expertise in materials research (Philips, TUE, GhentRGN, HBBG); material production (Nanobiotix, Lipoid); clinical knowledge in oncology (UTours, HBBG) and cardiology (UKB); in vitro and preclinical validation (UTours, ErasmusMC, UKB); research on imaging techniques (UCY, Philips, IMF); pharmacokinetics, toxicology and biodistribution (ULSOP, IPT).