Research Research groups Targeted nanomedicines

Targeted nanomedicine delivery of molecules

Roland Brock’s group focuses on the targeted delivery of molecules such as oligonucleotides, toxins and photosensitizers to modulate cell function and/or induce cell death. This research involves fundamental studies of formulation strategies and uptake mechanisms as well as preclinical applications.

Research group leader

Roland Brock PhD

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Aims of this research group

Research of the group aims at the development of targeted nanomedicines for disorders for which either no treatments are available, or the available medicines either lack efficiency or have too high side effects when applied systemically.

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Aims of this research group

Research of the group aims at the development of targeted nanomedicines for disorders for which either no treatments are available, or the available medicines either lack efficiency or have too high side effects when applied systemically. Examples for the former are oligonucleotide-based therapies which critically depend on delivery strategies that mediate cellular entry, examples for the latter are bacterial toxins which kill cells at very low concentrations. For oligonucleotide delivery, we explore a broad range of approaches ranging from peptide-based approaches such as cell-penetrating peptides to retargeted viruses. For toxins and photosensitizers, we focus on engineered proteins such as DARPins and nanobodies which are smaller than antibodies and therefore possess better tissue penetration.

By using advanced microscopy techniques and innovative tumor-on-the-chip approaches we achieve a detailed understanding on the working mechanism in particular with respect to cell entry and tissue penetration. Based on these insights we identify the most promising molecular candidates for preclinical in vivo research.
This research is very interdisciplinary involving expertise in chemical biology conjugation techniques, protein engineering, microfluidics, advanced fluorescence microscopy and molecular pharmacology. As part of the Radboudumc we engage in numerous collaborations with clinical research groups to provide innovative therapeutic strategies in a broad spectrum of disease areas. Moreover, we bridge even more fundamental research in chemistry and cell biology with the clinic.
 

Discoveries of this research group

In collaboration with Dr. Johan van der Vlag (Dept. of Nephrology) we surprisingly found that glomerular cells carry a receptor for one of our so-called cell-penetrating peptides which gives the possibility for specific targeting in a range of inflammatory kidney disorders.

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Discoveries of this research group

In collaboration with Dr. Johan van der Vlag (Dept. of Nephrology) we surprisingly found that glomerular cells carry a receptor for one of our so-called cell-penetrating peptides which gives the possibility for specific targeting in a range of inflammatory kidney disorders. Following a first place in the Start-Up Competition Venture Challenge, the company Mercurna was started to develop targeted mRNA-based therapies for chronic inflammatory kidney diseases. Mercurna is also show-case company in the EFRO Initiative Living Lab Nanomedicine.
 

Team

Radboudumc Technology Center Microscopy

The Microscopic Imaging Center offers access to both standard and innovative advanced microscopy infrastructure and applications including technical operator-assistance and in-depth microscopic imaging knowledge.

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Radboudumc Technology Center Imaging

The Imaging Technology Center provides cutting-edge technology and service for imaging-related preclinical and clinical research questions. This covers the spectrum from molecule to man to population.

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Radboudumc Technology Center Animal research facility

This technology center offers advice and support from planning up to and including the conduct of animal research on behalf of biomedical research and education.

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Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences

Our main aim is to achieve a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms of disease. By integrating fundamental and clinical research, we obtain multifaceted knowledge of (patho)physiological processes. read more