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Wednesday, 07 November 2012

ICN project among winners of La Marató de TV3 2011

The project, led by ICREA Research Professor and ICN Group Leader Victor Puntes, deals with the use of cerium oxide nanoparticles for treatment of liver maladies

The 2011 edition of La Marató de TV3 raised €8 million for research in Tissue and Organ Regeneration and Transplant, which have just been awarded to 29 research projects led by 56 researchers.

The Catalan charity Fundació La Marató de TV3 has just announced the winning research projects of its 2011 telethon, which raised €8 million for research on Tissue and Organ Regeneration and Transplant. The 29 winning projects include one led by ICREA Research Professor Leader Victor Puntes, who heads ICN's Inorganic Nanoparticles Group. The awards ceremony was held on 5 November at the University of Barcelona's historic central campus.


Prof Puntes and his colleagues are designing and fabricating specialised cerium oxide nanoparticles that selectively accumulate in the liver, for possible treatment of hepatic maladies such as chronic cirrhosis. By optimising parameters such as size, shape, and surface functionality, the team hopes to exploit the therapeutic potential of the nanoparticles, which act like anti-oxidants in physiological environments.According to Prof Puntes, “Cerium oxide changes its properties when reaching the nanoscale, developing a fascinating valence tautomery that makes it an excellent oxygensponge. This property has been extensively exploited in industrial catalysis, but work on medical applications has been much more recent. Preliminary studies show how the cerium oxide nanoparticles have the ability to protect cells against inflammation, which in its chronic form can trigger many subsequent diseases.”ICN's Inorganic Nanoparticles Group has several on-going research projects to develop therapeutic strategies based on the use of custom-designed metal nanoparticles that target specific organs or cell types, such as tumours, for specific pharmacological functions.For more information on the winners of the 2011 edition of La Marató de TV3, click here (news in Catalan).