Magnetic Nanoplatforms for Biomedical Applications Using High Energy Gamma Rays/Proton Radiation


  • Call:

    ProtoTera Call 2023/2

  • Academic Year:


  • Supervisor:

    Laura C J Pereira

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Teresa Pinheiro

  • Host Institution:

    C2TN - Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares

  • Granting Degree Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Typology:


  • Abstract:

    This PhD program will focus on the design and biological evaluation of multifunctional magnetic nanoplatforms for biomedical applications. They are powerful non-invasive tools for hyperthermia therapy and radiotherapy as radiosensitizers of gamma and proton radiation. These nanoplatforms are based on core–shell magnetic nanostructured iron oxides displaying superparamagnetic behavior (SPIONs). The overall goal is to provide essential physicochemical and biological knowledge and contribute to the development of breakthrough strategies for more efficient and selective cancer therapies. This can be considered an emerging partnership for both gamma and proton radiation therapies. Recently, it was found that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized with a DOTA derivative and bombesin peptide analogue (BBN) show quite good affinity towards GRPr with T1 /T2 MRI properties and a remarkably internalization into human prostate PC3 cancer cells. In addition, AuNPs can act as radiosensitizers after exposing cells to high-energy radiation. A comparison of the potential synergic cell-killing effects for both γ-rays and proton radiation therapies can therefore be evaluated on biological systems, namely with cancer cell models, in the presence or absence of the magnetic nanoplatforms. These studies may be extended to relevant animal models. The candidate will be part of a multidisciplinary team of supervisors with a complementary expertise and will benefit from a set of advanced infrastructures available in Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares, Instituto de Bioengenharia e Biociências, and in the Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire/CNRS, in France where a fellowship of 8 months (2+6) is foreseen. Moreover, it will profit from ongoing collaborations in other national and foreign institutions, namely, Instituto de Física dos Materiais da Universidade do Porto,Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona, and Instituto de Microelectrónica de Barcelona for other short-term stays.

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