Project

Luminescent nanothermometers for theranostics

Duration
01 May 2020 → Ongoing
Funding
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • f-block chemistry
    • Solid state chemistry
    • Chemistry of clusters, colloids and nanomaterials
Keywords
Theranostics Nanothermometry Biomedical Applications Luminescence Lanthanides Sensing
 
Project description

For diagnostic purposes temperature measurements in biomedicine are of key importance, as temperature plays an essential role in biological systems. For example, conditions such as inflammations and diseases such as cancer are accompanied by hyperlocal temperature changes in tissues. For biomedical applications measurements in the temperature range 20 – 50 ºC are essential (the so-called physiological range). Although detecting the temperature can be done employing robust, and already commercially available techniques, such as thermocouples or infrared imaging, optical temperature measurements (based on luminescence) at the nanoscale allow to reveal and study phenomena otherwise inaccessible to traditional thermometers such as measuring the temperature of cells and even the organelles within them.

Theranostics is a recently emerging field of interest, which combines diagnostics with therapy. In this regard, the use of nanomaterials, which allow combining multiple functions in just a single particle, would be able to change the entire healthcare scene and the way certain diseases are treated.

The goal of this project is to development novel types of nanothermometers for biomedical applications and additionally aim at using them for therapy means. The developed thermometers will rely on the temperature-dependent luminescence phenomena.

Although various thermometers have already been reported in literature, finding one which is suitable for biomedical purposes (non-toxic, excitable and showing emission in the biological windows, with high relative sensitivity, etc) is still a very challenging task. In this project we will tackle developing novel nanothermometers suitable for recording temperature in the physiological range based on lanthanide doped purely inorganic and well as hybrid nanomaterials. We will also aim at combing temperature sensing with drug delivery or Photo Dynamic Therapy in a single particle to obtain systems suitable for theranostics.