Ramón Martínez Máñez, professor at Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), explains in this interview how his company is contributing to the ULISES goals in the fight against cancer.
First, could you explain the role of your team in ULISES?
We are responsible for designing, fabricating, and characterizing functional nanoparticles able to target tumor cells which then deliver a genetic cargo to reprogramme these cancer cells. Additionally, we aim to optimize the preparation of the nanoparticles and their loading and delivery capacity.
What type of expertise does your team bring to the project’s research objectives?
Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) is highly specialized in materials chemistry and the design of nanoparticles for drug and gene delivery applications. We have expertise in the preparation of different nanoparticles, some of which are being tested during the project. We are now focusing, for the project, in the use of lipid nanoparticles that have additionally been functionalized with several ligands to enhance tumor cell uptake.
What does your research specifically focus on?
The focus of the research we are conducting is on the design and preparation of nanoparticles for drug delivery including gene delivery and also the design and preparation of sensors and probes, especially using color or fluorogenic changes.
What is the most innovative aspect of your work?
Our most significant innovation related to the project is the design of nanoparticles. We specialize in designing nanoparticles that show zero release, yet the cargo is released in the presence of physical, chemical, or biological stimuli. We also have expertise in the use of nanoparticles in “in vitro” and “in vivo” studies on different models of diseases.