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Injectable Nano-Sensor to Identify and Treat Tumors

CEA-Leti and four French partners will design an injectable sensor that can deliver both nuclear imaging in the pre-operative examination of tumors, and visual imaging during biopsy.

The three-year project will design the customized sensor with an organic nano-carrier Lipidot. A peptide molecule to identify some forms of cancer will be incorporated into the Lipidots to enhance efficiency.

The collaboration will include Orsay-based Frédéric Joliot Hospital team, Saint-Genis-Pouilly-based AAA specializing in radiopharmaceutical products, Grenoble-based CEA-Leti startup Fluoptics specializing in fluorescence-imaging solutions, and Marcy-l’Etoile-based VetAgro Sup to supervise pre-clinical tests on animals, specifically instantaneous  tumors in dogs.

A PET is a nuclear-imaging scan that helps physicians assess the metabolic movement of an organ by injecting a radiotracer into it and studying the gamma rays emitted as the sensor particles. Fluorescence imaging utilizes a florescent sensor with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The images that ensue offer surgeons clean margins during procedures that reduce the chances of recurrence.

The nuclear labels in a PET scan offer high-resolution images, while visual contrast agents help recognize tumor cells rapidly. Using both the techniques together helps confirm that the tumors being operated on are those that were identified during the pre-op scan. The procedure reduces procedure time, leading to overall cost reduction. The three-year project will be supported by the Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône Alpes (CLARA) ‘Preuve de Concept’ (Proof of Concept) scheme.



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