Pôles de recherche nationaux (PRN)
Qu’est-ce qu’un PRN?
Le Fonds national suisse a créé les pôles de recherche nationaux (PRN) afin de soutenir la recherche sur des thèmes d’importance stratégique pour la science suisse. Chaque PRN est basé dans une université suisse et dirigé par elle avec la participation d’autres institutions si bien qu’un centre d’excellence dans un domaine particulier est créé
L’Université de Fribourg abrite depuis 2014 le PRN sur les matériaux bio-inspirés. Ce PRN inclue 12 équipes de recherche de l’université (départements de chimie, physique, médecine et Institut Adolphe Merkle – AMI).
Finding the right nanoparticles for medical applications
NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials researchers at the universities of Fribourg and Geneva have developed a low-cost method to quickly select the most promising nanoparticles for biomedical applications. This approach could also help reduce the need to conduct animal experiments.
The use of nanoparticles in biomedicine has already begun. Cancer researchers have for example been considering them for oncology treatments that are better at finding their target, more efficient and with fewer side effects. However, predicting how these nanoparticles will interact with the body’s immune system is extremely difficult, restricting their use. This hurdle could be overcome thanks to a so-called flow cytometry method developed by the NCCR scientists led by Prof. Carole Bourquin, who recently moved her research group from Fribourg to Geneva.
To be used in biomedical applications, nanoparticles must be harmless for the human body, be able to sneak past the immune system, and carry out their mission. “It takes years for a laboratory to develop a nanoparticle without knowing what effect it will have on the body,” says Bourquin. “There was a real need to find a way of sorting nanoparticles at the start of a product’s development cycle. Otherwise if an incompatibility is detected too late, years of research will be tossed out.”
With the flow cytometry method developed by Bourquin and her colleagues, it is possible to characterize in less than a week the ideal biomedical nanoparticle, rather than months as previously according to an article published by the researchers in the journal Nanoscale. It also helps lower research costs and reduce the need for animal experimentation. It could also be a pathway to more personalized treatments for some pathologies, for example by testing nanoparticles on a sample of a patient’s tumor cells. It would be therefore theoretically possible to identify the most efficient therapeutical approach.
Article in Nanoscale:
Mottas I.; Milosevic A.; Petri-Fink A.; Rothen-Rutishauser B.; Bourquin C. A rapid screening method to evaluate the impact of nanoparticles on macrophages, Nanoscale, 2017
Read more about this here (extract from the NCCR activities report).
University of Geneva press release
De plus, les chercheurs de l’Université de Fribourg participent aux PRN suivants :
NCCR Affective Sciences - Emotions in Individual Behavior and Social Processes
NCCR Kidney.CH - Kidney Control of Homeostasis
NCCR Mediality - Historical Perspectives
NCCR Chemical Biology - Visualization and Control of Biological Processes Using Chemistry
NCCR LIVES - Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspectives
NCCR MARVEL - Materials' Revolution: Computational Design and Discovery of Novel Materials
NCCR MUST - Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology
NCCR On the Move - The Migration-Mobility Nexus
Une liste complète de tous les PRN et des participants se trouve ici.