Conference : Crossing Biological Barriers

Advances in Nanocarrier Design for Targeted Drug Delivery

The international conference - Crossing Biological Barriers – Advances in Nanocarrier Design for Targeted Drug Delivery- will address the latest developments in nanocarrier-based targeted drug delivery systems, specifically designed to overcome biological barriers. Oral presentations will be accompanied by a large poster session. The event will connect academic and industrial players, creating synergies between different disciplines. This innovative event is jointly organised by the European Projects TRANS-INT, COMPACT and ALEXANDER, all three dealing with cutting-edge nanomedicine drug delivery topics.

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Kevin Braeckmans received prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant

Kevin Braeckmans member of the COMPACT consortium, has received a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant

Kevin Braeckmans, professor at Ghent University in Belgium and member of the COMPACT consortium, has received a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant for his project on ‘Laser-induced water vapour nanobubbles for the intracellular delivery of nanomaterials and the treatment of biofilm infections’ (NANOBUBBLE). In this project, nanoparticles are used that can efficiently absorb laser light.
Upon suitable laser irradiation, these nanoparticles become quickly heated to extremely high temperatures, causing the surrounding water in biological tissues to evaporate, with the formation of tiny water vapour nanobubbles.
The mechanical force of these expanding and imploding nanobubbles can be used to deliver therapeutic molecules and nanoparticles in cells or biofilms in a highly controlled manner. This concept will be used for enabling cell based therapies, bio-imaging applications and the treatment of biofilm related infections.

- ERC-Grants 2015


Read from the latest advancement in the project.

We have published new articles on

  • Overcoming the pulmonary barrier: new insights to improve the efficiency of inhaled therapeutics.
  • Preclinical safety and efficacy models for pulmonary drug delivery of antimicrobials with focus on in vitro models.
  • Overview of Inhaled Nanopharmaceuticals.

Older publications:
  • Measurement of the Average Mass of Proteins Adsorbed to a Nanoparticle by Using a Suspended Microchannel Resonator
  • Carrier interactions with the biological barriers of the lung: Advanced in vitro models and challenges for pulmonary drug delivery
  • Effects of cargo molecules on membrane perturbation caused by transportan10 based cell-penetrating peptides

COMPACT Kick-off

Academia, Biotech and the Pharmaceutical industry have joined forces to deliver the next generation of biologics-based medicines

The COMPACT consortium kick-off meeting was held under sponsorship of Sanofi Germany in November 2012 in Frankfurt and was attended by a large team of consortium participants representing the leading European experts from 14 academic institutions, two biotech companies and seven pharmaceutical companies. The consortium’s board of directors includes Ekkehard Leberer from Sanofi as scientific coordinator, Steven Hood from GlaxoSmithKline as his deputy, Enrico Mastrobattista from the University of Utrecht as academic coordinator and Nathalie Piton from Sanofi as consortium manager. “The COMPACT consortium offers excellent possibilities to join forces to address a major challenge in the development of innovative biotherapeutics by combining academic fundamental research and applied drug development in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Ekkehard Leberer. Enrico Mastrobattista commented:
”I am very excited about this unique public-private partnership between major players in the pharmaceutical field to work on the problem of delivery of biopharmaceuticals. Only with collaboration at this scale will we be able to tackle some of the urgent problems that hamper the development of candidate biopharmaceuticals into useful medicines.”

Most biopharmaceuticals currently on the market are recombinant proteins which are parenterally administered. These would benefit from patient-friendly routes of administration and more effective means to target their delivery across major biological barriers, such as the blood brain barrier (BBB), and open important new avenues for the treatment of major hitherto untreated diseases. Moreover, new classes of biopharmaceuticals (e.g. oligonucleotides such as siRNAs, and therapeutic peptides) with specificity for intracellular targets hold great promise but await the advent of efficient tissue and cell delivery systems before their potential can be translated into therapeutic products. Solving the major medical challenge of targeted delivery of biopharmaceuticals will pave the way for better, safer and more innovative medicines in areas of major unmet medical need like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and rare genetic diseases.


Press Releases 2012