For the very first time, bioplastic can be used to diagnose and treat tumours thanks to the first patent registered by Bio-on in the nanomedical field
, particularly in nanodiagnostics (nano-imaging).
Bio-on researchers use nanotechnologies to create minerv BIOMEDS
: these are revolutionary and innovative nanocapsules in PHAs bioplastic (polyhydroxyalkanoates) capable of simultaneously containing two contrast media: magnetic nanoparticles and gold nanocylinders.
These two elements flag up diseased areas of the body, e.g. a tumour mass, using traditional Nuclear Magnetic
Resonance and the more innovative Photoacoustic imaging
"Using PHA bioplastic is very advantageous," explains Prof.
Mauro Comes Franchini, Bio-on Chief Scientific Advisor, "because it is safe for the patient and has no side effects.
As an industrial chemist, my main goal is to work with products that are safe for the environment and human health, especially when it comes to biomedical applications.
Bio-on bioplastics fully meet these requirements and open up important, unexplored fields for nanotechnologies in medicine - a rapidly growing sector."
This technology has a diagnostic
as well as a therapeutic
function, given that drugs can be inserted into the nanocapsules, for chemotherapy for example. This will enable minerv BIOMEDS
nanocapsules to be used in targeted and selective cancer therapies in the future. Combining Thera
peutic with Diagnostics
has led the two terms to be fused, thus creating Theranostics
"This versatility makes nanocapsules multifunctional," explains Prof. Mauro Comes Franchini, "and this dual system will allow clinical theranostic applications in oncology and in neurodegenerative disorders, enabling medical professionals to work safely on patients."
The PHAs bioplastics developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They are completely eco-sustainable and 100% naturally biodegradable
. The research conducted and the patent registered by Bio-on show that they can be used successfully in the nanomedical field precisely because they are biocompatible and safe for human health.
The global market in contrast media alone is dominated by four multinational companies that generated an overall turnover of $4.3 billion in 2015. According to the most recent estimates, this figure should rise to $6 billion with 39.5% growth over the next 5 years.
"We are proud to contribute to such an important sector for human health," says Bio-on S.p.A. Chairman Marco Astorri, "We will continue to do so by extending our direct presence even more in the biomedical and nanomedical sector."
*Photoacoustic imaging is an innovative, revolutionary and non-invasive technique that produces extremely high resolution images of diseased areas of the body. It is highly precise and very safe because it does not use ionising radiation.