Fighting cancer relapse with remote activation of smart and targeted nanoconstructs
Reference persons VALENTINA ALICE CAUDA
Thesis type EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
Description The present Master Thesis is inserted in the context of a European Project - XtraUS . this project focuses on the prevention of cancer relapse and on the achievement of an early cure of recurrence, thus having a heavy impact on health and on its financial implications. Actually, many patients unfortunately get into a recurrence of their primary tumor disease, since their cancer is not fully remitted and they require further treatment to manage it.
Minimal residual disease (MRD) after potentially curative treatment generally contributes to disease relapse and is the target of early adjuvant treatments. In particular, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood stream have a key role in cancer progression, recurrence and metastasis spreading. However, their such tiny amount is diffcult to detect by conventional laboratory tests. From a social and financial perspective, fighting these cancer cells has a huge impact on cancer relapse prevention and thus on the health, quality of life and overall cancer treatment expenditure.
XtraUS aims at validating a breakthrough technology to fight CTCs in the bloodstream and thus reduce the rise of MRD and further cancer relapse. It applies an extracorporeal blood circulation set-up exploiting a novel stimuli-responsive, targeted and non-immunogenic nanoconstruct, remotely activated against CTCs. XtraUS results in a personalized and translational approach, with high-target specificity and reduced collateral damage to both blood and adjacent healthy tissues. With this technology, the project aim to advance the conventional treatments of CTCs in the blood stream, proposing a more effective and safer treatment to fight cancer relapse and metastasis spreading than the current ones. The driving idea is to render permanent and efficacious the first treatment offered to patients for their primary tumor disease, avoid cancer relapse, and reduce all associated costs.
The Master student will work on the design of a blood-circulation cartridge for cell tratment under stimulation, studying the size and geometry of parallel plastic slits (i.e. with rectangular and thin cross sections) where the fluid is distributed to be uniformly irradiated , according to mass flows and rates of blood and in in-vivo extracorporeal set-up. Output: scheme of cartridge and positioning of the stimulation transducer with various alternatives alternatives to be brought in the decision-making process for a final prototype realization.
due to COVID-19 outbreak, the Master thesis can start immediately in a remote work as it concern the study of extracorporeal cirulation machines, blood flows and the design of the cartridge device. If conditions of acces to laboratory will then also apply to Master student, the research will be also carried out in the laboratory. For example, it is envisioned the realization of the prototype, the in-vitro testing with and without cells (carried out at the end of the study).
Required skills - Deep knowledge of Physics, Fluidodynamics, Mass transport phenomena
- CAD Design
- Modelling with softwares like Comsol is useful
-Very good english knowledge (both spoken and written)
Deadline 05/05/2021 PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA