“Engineering Nanostructures for Cellular imaging and for intracellular delivery

of Optically active Drugs for cardiac hypERtrophy


NANOMAX - ENCODER is a CNR project, coordinated by IFC-CNR, within the flagship project Nanomax.

Role: Partner

Activity period: 2012-2017

Research Line: Optical Nanosensing


Proposal core of the Encoder project is the development and characterization of complex nanostructures for therapy/sensing and multimodal diagnosis/imaging applications in pathologic cardiac hypertrophy.

The nanostructures will carry discriminating probes for their selective internalization into unhealthy cells and will be also equipped with molecular beacons, DNA-based drugs emitting fluorescence once the interaction with the molecular target occurs. Other oligonucleotide-based molecules will be also used to enhance the inhibition of cell functions upon the interaction with intracellular targets. Different nanocarriers are considered: silica, gold and PMMA nanoparticles, mono/bi-dimensional carbon nanomaterials (CNTs, graphene and its derivatives), and engineered magnetic-erythrocytes. Drug release from the nanocarriers will be performed by enzymatic interactions and/or controlled thermal activation. The effect of these theranostic complexes will be assessed in vitro and in vivo on animal models.


Within this project the Chemical and Biochemical Optical Sensor Group is developing optical nanostructures (more specifically, PMMA nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes) equipped with molecular beacons, in strict collaboration with ICCOM-CNR and ISOF-CNR.