Ricerca CERCA

Development of biodegradable artificial lymph node for immune modulation (NanoLymph)

azienda Thesis in external company    estero Thesis abroad


Reference persons DANILO DEMARCHI

External reference persons Alessandro Grattoni, agrattoni@houstonmethodist.org
Nicola Di Trani, nditrani@houstonmethodist.org

Research Groups MiNES (Micro&Nano Electronic Systems)


Description The NanoLymph project focuses on modulating the immune system to treat cancer systemically. We designed and developed the NanoLymph (a bioengineered 3D printed medical device) for this purpose. The NanoLymph has two main chambers: an inner drug reservoir to release immunostimulants for cell recruitment locally, and an external antigen reservoir to house antigens and allow cell permeation. The two reservoirs are separated by a nanoporous membrane which allows for sustained and constant elution of immunostimulants into the local microenvironment. Once deployed, the NanoLymph aims to recruit specific immune cells locally, activate them within the antigen reservoir and allow these cells to migrate to local lymph nodes to complete the process of immune activation.

Work on this project to date has focused on the design, development, and deployment of the NanoLymph to test its capability to generate antigen-specific immune cells within the body. Current focuses in this project aim to evaluate the NanoLymph’s efficacy to fight cancer in murine models.

Incoming masters students will focus on developing a biodegradable platform to serve this same purpose. Further, masters students can also evaluate the NanoLymph’s use in other disease etiologies. One aspiring collaboration is the use of the NanoLymph to prevent long-term allergic responses. In this case, we envision the NanoLymph to help sensitize an individual against an allergen, with the hopes of eventually curing them of their severe allergy. Read more about the project here: https://grattoni.hmailabs.org/research/#NanoLymph

Required skills This project requires experimental work to be performed at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston (TX), US. A period of at least 8 months is required. The project can involve animal studies, the student needs to be comfortable in working with animal models after extensive training. Good knowledge of basic biology is preferred with immunology background as a plus. Excellent English level is required (oral and written) and positive attitude to work in a diverse and heterogenous environment.

Deadline 21/03/2023      PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA