Project: Development of nanovectors for the targeted delivery in Anopheles mosquitoes of agents blocking transmission of Plasmodium parasites

Acronym NANOpheles (Reference Number: EURONANOMED2017-178)
Duration 01/03/2018
Project Topic Whereas nanomedical approaches to diseases prevalent in the developed world abound, there is an astonishing lack of nanomedicines being developed to treat the main cause of death in the developing world: infectious diseases, among which malaria is prominent. The unmet medical and patient need of malaria eradication will not be achieved unless the targeted delivery of new drugs is vastly improved. Encapsulation of drugs in targeted nanovectors is a rapidly growing area with a clear applicability to infectious disease treatment, and pharmaceutical nanotechnology has been identified as a potentially essential tool in the future fight against malaria. Polymers offer virtually unlimited diversity in chemistry, dimensions and topology, which renders them a class of materials that is particularly suitable for applications in nanoscale drug delivery strategies. The objective of NANOpheles is to design polymeric nanovectors for the delivery of antimalarial agents to Plasmodium stages in the mosquito, and to characterise the efficiency of nanovectors and antimalarial agents via monitoring of changes in infectious mosquito prevalence. This objective will be achieved through (i) synthesis of nanocarriers capable of encapsulating antimalarials (currently used drugs and future antimicrobial peptides, antibodies, and dsRNA) and of preventing their degradation in storage conditions, (ii) engineering of targeted nanovectors capable of delivering their antimalarial contents to Plasmodium stages in the Anopheles mosquito, and (iii) evaluation of the effect of selected nanovectors (loaded with antimalarial agents) on the mosquito stages of Plasmodium and their transmission capacity in a murine model of malaria. NANOpheles unites groups which are leading laboratories in nanoparticle synthesis, targeted drug delivery to Plasmodium-infected cells, molecular and cell biology of malaria, mouse models and mosquito vectors of malaria, and clinical aspects of malaria.
Network EuroNanoMed III
Call Joint Transnational Call for Proposals (2017) for “European Innovative Research & Technological Development Projects in Nanomedicine”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Fundació Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya Coordinator Spain
2 University of Twente, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology Partner Netherlands
3 University of Liège Partner Belgium
4 Barcelona Institute for Global Health Partner Spain
5 Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas Partner Greece
6 Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Partner Portugal