2013 Nanomaterials for the diagnosis of cardiovascular injuries

2013 Nanomaterials for the diagnosis of cardiovascular injuries.

2013 Nanomaterials for the diagnosis of cardiovascular injuries.

NANOCARD is a multidisciplinary research project focused on the development of nanoparticles (NPs) for the diagnosis of cardiovascular lesions. NANOCARD aims to use NPs for detecting lesions of the cardiovascular system (CVS) through tracking and imaging of ischemic tissue (occurring, for instance, as a result of heart disease) and through fast detection of molecular markers associated to damage in the CVS in blood plasma. This way, NANOCARD aims to provide alternatives with improved efficiency and sensitivity with respect to the currently used techniques in CVS disease diagnosis, which constitutes one of the most important challenges society is nowadays facing with respect to healthcare.

On the one hand, NANOCARD aims to synthesize and characterize various nanomaterials for CVS diagnosis: (i) optically activated NPs (O-NPs), semiconductor and dielectric NPs doped with rare earth ions whose spectral working ranges lie in the infrared biological windows of human tissues, (ii) iron oxide and permalloy magnetic NPs (M-NPs) which are capable of acting as contrast agents and magnetic transductors, and (iii) hybrid nanostructures (HNSs) with dual magnetic-fluorescent behavior, constituted by combining O-NPs and M-NPs in a single structure, being therefore capable of acting as multimodal (optical and magnetic) contrast agents.

On the other hand, NANOCARD aims to develop specific instrumentation to obtain in vivo thermal and fluorescence images of damaged CVS tissue with a high resolution and penetration depth. Furthermore, NANOCARD will develop instrumentation for detecting changes in the magnetic signal of M-NPs due to their interaction in blood plasma with molecular markers associated with CVS damage.

The different types of NPs will be subjected to a full physicochemical characterization, toxicity and biocompatibility assays, as well as to a study of their suitability as diagnostic agents. For that purpose, NANOCARD will functionalize the NPs through chemical modification of their surface, so as to achieve specific interaction between the NPs and different molecular markers, organs and damaged tissue in the CVS.

The viability of NANOCARD is based on the multidisciplinary and complementary character of the coordinated groups, which include physicists, biologists, chemists, pharmacists, veterinarians and physicians. Through the coordination between the groups, NANOCARD will be able to approach a wide array of activities ensuring the realization of the aims presented in this project: NP synthesis (IMDEA, UAM), detection of molecular markers (IMDEA, UAM), performance of in vitro (UPF, UAM), ex vivo (UAM, UPF) and in vivo assays. The already existing collaboration and coordination between the groups constitutes the starting point of NANOCARD. Furthermore, NANOCARD is also supported by collaborations with renowned research centers, companies, and hospitals, at both national and international levels. Through these collaborations, the knowledge and technology transfer of the results achieved during the development of NANOCARD is guaranteed.

Principal researchers

Daniel Jaque García


Pilar Rivera Gil


MAT2016-75362-C3-2-R MICINN