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Breast cancer: smart nanogold spheres to defeat it. New challenges
Who are we?
We are a research group headed by Professor Livia Visai at the Department of Molecular Medicine of Pavia’s University. The researches performed in our laboratory are focused on the biotechnology of the very small, the nanobiotechnologies, to obtain innovative therapeutic solutions for the treatment of cancer, bacterial infections and tissue regeneration, as documented by our scientific publications.
Where did we start? The 2015 crowdfunding campaign and its results
In 2015 our project titled “Breast Cancer: Defeating It with Smart Gold Nanospheres” was funded through the Universitiamo crowdfunding platform. The aim of the project was to use a nanobiotechnology-based approach to develop a new biocompatible drug-loaded gold nanocarrier selective for cancer cells, with the purpose of improving the effectiveness and the selectivity of chemotherapy treatment of breast cancer.
Thanks to the funds raised and the prestigious support of research grants for young researchers of the Umberto Veronesi Foundation, the project has obtained important scientific results, already presented to the scientific community in the form of publications ( https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32195232/), oral presentations and posters at several national and international conferences.
In addition, thanks to the numerous activities organized, the project worked towards raising social awareness about the nanobiotechnology as new approach to breast cancer treatment.
What are the goals of this new crowdfunding campaign?
Through this new campaign we would like to continue to fund our research to assess the effectiveness of our gold nanoparticles against breast cancer, the most common invasive cancer in women all over the world. In addition, we are keen to develop gold nanosystems to treat bone metastases, which are the common sites of metastasis for breast cancer.
Conventional approaches to cancer therapy, although they are effective at killing cancer cells, may still fail due to inadequate biodistribution and unwanted side effects. Nanobiotechnology approach has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and therapy of tumors. These approaches provide a promising alternative, with the possibility of targeting cells at an early stage, during their transformation into cancer cells, and of decreasing the dose of the administered medication, improving the quality of life of the patient.
In particular, the funds raised through this campaign will be used to:
– assess the biocompatibility, toxicity, efficacy, and interaction of our gold nanospheres in 3D scaffold models in compliance with the 3Rs principles for more ethical use of animals in testing. Advances in 3D scaffold models are excellent tools to recapitulate important tumor features including cellular heterogeneity, cell signaling pathways, gene expression patterns similar to those of in vivo conditions.
– synthetize bone-targeted gold nanoparticles functionalized with bone-targeting molecules to treat breast cancer bone metastasis while promoting the regeneration of damaged tissue.
The project will benefit from the ongoing collaboration with national and international research groups, with a constant look at strengthening the collaboration with patient organizations and with those ones engaged in dissemination projects.
Why support us?
Our project may help to develop alternative therapy or support existing therapies, thus improving the quality of life of the patient.
We will organize a series of interactive webinars where we will talk about our project and meet other researchers actively involved in the fight against breast cancer!
Lab website: http://bio4nano.unipv.eu/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Tumore-al-seno-sconfiggerlo-con-nanosfere-doro-intelligenti-865316286866305/
3Rs Centre: https://www.centro3r.it/
Centre of Health Technologies (CHT): http://cht.unipv.it/index.php/it/
Other friends Link :
scholarship for a young researcher
Every backer will receive a certificate of donation
10 Euro Donation
A shopper personalized with our logo
20 Euro Donation
A t-shirt personalized with our logo
50 Euro Donation
A power bank USB personalized with our logo
100 Euro Donation
One day experience in our lab
250 Euro Donation
Acknowledgement in the scientific paper and personal reward
Livia Visai| Founder
Livia Visai| Founder
Nora Bloise| Founder
Nora Bloise| Founder
Elisa Restivo graduated in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2019 at University of Pavia (UNIPV, IT). She won a scholarship for the Erasmus Traineeship program (2018) to spend five months at Technische Universität Braunschweig (GE) in the lab of Prof. Dr. M. Hust, where she learnt the antibody phage display technique. In 2019 she was admitted to Translational Medicine PhD course at University of Pavia. In 2020 she awarded a scholarship to spend three months at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona (CH) in the lab of Prof. Dr. L. Varani where she learnt Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR). Nowadays, she works in the lab of Prof. Dr. L. Visai and she is interested in nanotechnological approaches for the treatment of bacterial infections. In addition to biochemistry and molecular biology techniques, she has experience in antibacterial and cyto-compatibility tests of biomaterials. Since 2020 she has been tutoring medical area students for Chimica Generale-Propedeutica Biochimica (SSD BIO10) and she is a co-supervisor for master’s degree thesis at UNIPV.
Giulia Montagna earned the master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Pavia (Italy) in October 2018. During the master’s degree, she undertook a two-year long internship at the laboratory of cell-material interactions headed by Professor Livia Visai, where she studied and used nanotechnological application on biological tissues. In these two years, Giulia was awarded with two Erasmus Traineeship fellowships. The first fellowship allowed her to learn blood and bone marrow cell depletion techniques at the Centre for Cell Engineering, in the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. In Glasgow she was also introduced to the metabolomics research field. Giulia’s dissertation was entitled “In vitro evaluation of the effects of strontium substituted-hydroxyapatite nanoparticles on osteoblast and osteoclast progenitors”. In October 2018, she was admitted to the PhD course Health technologies, Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, at the University of Pavia. Thanks to the second fellowship she was able to spend six months at the University of Turku (Finland), working in the laboratory of the Proteomics core. In Turku, Giulia acquired fundamental knowledge regarding mass spectrometry based-proteomics, investigating microgravity conditioned cells with bottom-up and label free quantification approaches. Nowadays, she works on the development of innovative in vitro culture models for bone cells, nanotechnological drug delivery and proteomics cells investigations.
Mohammad Okkeh is an international PhD student, from Jerusalem. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the Jordanian university of science and technology in Irbid, Jordan 2010. He worked as a community pharmacist in different pharmacies across Jerusalem from 2010 to 2013, and later he became a pharmacy manager at one of the biggest health insurance providers in Israel from 2013-2019. In parallel to working as a pharmacist, in 2019 he earned a master’s degree in industrial Pharmaceutical technology from Birzeit university, in Palestine. Currently, he is working on developing novel Nano-gold based gels for the efficient healing of chronic infected wounds. His research is focused on investigating approaches like Photothermal and Photodynamic therapies to fight Multidrug-resistant bacteria, especially the ones which are abundant in chronic wounds.
After graduating in Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano, he is now attending a PhD program in Bioengineering, still at Politecnico di Milano. Starting with his Master of Science thesis project, his research focused on the development of in vitro models. After participating for almost two years to the validation of an in vitro model of Cystic Fibrosis airway mucus, he is now involved in the development of an in vitro model of the liver, to be applied in drug screening.
He obtained the bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. His master’s thesis is developed at the laboratory of Interaction cell-biomaterial of the Molecular Medicine department at University of Pavia in which he implements a software for studying the surface properties of 3D scaffolds and their interaction with cells. Master’s thesis supervisors: prof. Lorenzo Fassina, prof. Livia Visai and dr. Nora Bloise.
She carries out her internship at the laboratory of cell-material interactions led by prof Livia Visai at the Department of Molecular Medicine and at the laboratory of General Surgery of prof. Lorenzo Cobianchi where she deals with tissue decellularization techniques and interaction between natural scaffolds and cells. She obtained a three-year degree in Biotechnology at the National Research Council of Pavia where she carried out genetic and molecular studies on mouse models affected by senile amyloidosis.
She obtained the bachelor’s degree in Biology at University of Pavia. The master’s thesis project, developed under the guidance of professor Livia Visai and with the support of dr Nora Bloise, is focused on the evaluation of nanoparticles interaction with cancer cell models.
He received a bachelor’s degree in Medical Biotechnologies (109/110) from the School of Science and Engineering of the University of Verona, discussing an experimental thesis entitled “Study of the interaction between macrophages and mammary carcinoma cells in three- dimensional cultures”. The thesis work resulted from an internship at the Laboratory of Immunology and Experimental Oncology of professor Roberto Chignola of the University of Verona and focused on the characterization of the interaction between macrophages and spheroids derived from mammary tumor cells. Currently, Francesco is studying Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies at the University of Pavia and is undertaking an internship at the Laboratory of cells-biomaterials Interaction of Professor Livia Visai.
He obtained the bachelor’s degree in biotechnology at the University of Pavia in 2019. His master’s thesis project is developed at the laboratory headed by the prof. Livia Visai and with the support of dr Elisa Restivo, at the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Pavia, and it is focused on the nanobiotechnology application for the treatment of bacterial infections, including the use of nanoparticles and monoclonal antibodies to prevent infections of S. aureus.
She obtained the bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of Pavia in 2019. The master’s thesis project, developed under the guidance of professor Livia Visai and with the support of dr Giulia Montagna, is focused on the characterization of osteoclasts from different sources (buffy coat, cell lines and primary osteoclasts) and on the study of the response of mature osteoclasts to the treatment with strontium hydroxyapatite nanoparticles.
She obtained a bachelor's degree in "Biomedical Engineering" at the Polytechnic University of Milan, During her master's degree, she is pursuing experimental thesis assigned to her by Professor Paola Petrini (Polytechnic of Milan), at the laboratory of cell-material interactions, head by Professor Livia Visai. The experimental thesis project is part of the PhD program of her supervisor Giuseppe Guagliano in which he will develop an in vitro model of the liver to be printed using Bioprinting technology.