Targeting Cancer

Versatile nanoparticle systems for therapeutic and diagnostic applications

Magnetic nanoparticle plant
© Fraunhofer IMM

Lab-scale plant for the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles

Niosomes
© Fraunhofer IMM

Niosome dispersions displaying different vesicle size (turbidity) at identical concentrations

Nonspecific distribution and uncontrollable release of drugs are crucial limiting factors for efficient and safe drug administration. Smart nanocarrier-based drug delivery systems are estimated to be a versatile approach allowing the spatially controlled delivery of drugs in a specific and adjustable dose to the target site. Thus, nanocarriers and nanoparticulate imaging systems display a key topic in nanomedical research. Although a steadily growing number of research results is published, the number of clinical applications is still very limited. This is at least partially due to the complex design of the actual systems in which a scalable and reproducible manufacturing cannot be realized immediately.

Operating principle

Our approach is based on a highly reliable, flexible and easily scalable modular platform for the continuous synthesis, purification and analysis of nanoformulations using well-proven microreactor technology. The platform incudes a controlled mixing unit, downstream processing (via tangential flow filtration), in-line analytics (via flow dynamic light scattering) and a process control system. Efficient mixing, accurately adjust-able residence time and reaction parameters, e.g. temperature, as basic conditions for a reproducible production are implemented.

Properties and application areas

The encapsulation of hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic components is possible. A precise particle size control from < 50 nm to 500 nm without post treatment can be achieved. This gives access to a number of complex materials, such as polymer / lipid nanoparticles, liposomes /lipoplexes and niosomes / polymersomes. The precise control achieved over particle size and product characteristics for different nanomaterial examples is the fundamental prerequisite for clinically relevant nanomedicine applications using vesicular drug carriers for targeted therapy as well as magnetic nanoparticles as tracers for magnetic particle imaging.

Our research & development services

The platform we have developed offers the possibility to manufacture high quality nanomaterials with tunbable product characteristics from milliliter up to decaliter scale for comprehensive preclinical testing to further boost a successful translation of innovative nanomedical solutions in therapy and diagnostics:

  • Drug Delivery (e.g. Iiposomal or lipoplex formulations)
  • Imaging (Magnetic Particle Imaging)
  • Hyperthermia (Magnetic Fluid Hyperthermia)
  • In-vitro Diagnostic (Biomolecule and Cell Separation)
  • Biosensors