Principal Investigators


    Contact information of lead PI


    European Commission

    Title of project or programme

    Hijacking cell signalling pathways with magnetic nanoactuators for remote-controlled stemcell therapies of neurodegenerative disorders

    Source of funding information

    European Commission Horizon 2020

    Total sum awarded (Euro)

    € 3,473,026

    Start date of award


    Total duration of award in years


    The project/programme is most relevant to:

    Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders


    Research Abstract

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, are a major public health issue given the aging population in
    Europe and beyond. While curative pharmacological treatment of these diseases is not in sight, cell replacement therapies
    (CTs) are considered very promising, in particular with the advent of stem-cell reprogramming technologies. However, a
    fundamental challenge in the medical application of CTs in the brain of patients lies in the lack of control of cell behaviour at
    the site of transplantation, and particularly their differentiation and oriented growth. The aim of this project is to introduce a
    fundamentally new concept for remote control of cellular functions by means of magnetic manipulation. The technology is
    based on magnetic nanoparticles functionalized with proteins involved in cellular signalling cascades. These
    biofunctionalized MNPs (bMNPs) will be delivered into target cells, where they act as intracellular signalling platforms
    activatable in a spatially and temporally controlled manner by external magnetic fields. The project will focus on engineering
    these tools for the control of neuronal cell programming and fibre outgrowth by hijacking Wnt and neurotrophin signalling,
    respectively, with the ulti-mate objective of advancing cell replacement therapies for PD using dopaminergic precursor
    To achieve this ambitious goal, we have gathered an interdisciplinary consortium interfacing scientists having cutting-edge
    know-how in bMNP engineering, surface functionalization and cellular nanobiophysics with renowned experts in neuronal
    cell differentiation, stem-cell reprogramming and regenerative (nano-)medicine. By exploiting this complementary expertise,
    a novel, versatile technology for magnetic control of intracellular signalling is envis-aged, which will be a breakthrough for
    remote actuation of cellular functions and its successful implementation in CTs for neurodegenerative diseases and injuries
    within the following decade.

    Lay Summary

    Further information available at:

Types: Investments > €500k
Member States: European Commission
Diseases: Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders
Years: 2016
Database Categories: N/A
Database Tags: N/A

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