The University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL) is the fifth largest French university, and the 1st one in the field of health, taking into account the number of students. The UCBL student population is nearly 40 000, and it employs 2900 teachers/researchers and teachers, of which 700 are also hospital practitioners, as well as 1800 technical and administrative staff. The University has 73 state-funded research units working in three fields; health, the environment and material technologies. It is a multidisciplinary university specializing in both fundamental and applied research and as such it can boast more than 4415 internationally published articles and 44 patents per year.
Four Research Units of the University are involved in the present project:
- Chemistry Laboratory
CREATIS is a joint biomedical imaging research facility, from the University Claude Bernard Lyon1, INSA of Lyon, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM). CREATIS gathers together about 200 scientists from Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, and clinical investigators from Cardiology, Neurology, and Radiology. CREATIS researchers provide specialized expertise in image acquisition and image post-processing for different modalities such as CT, MRI, and US, with a focus on two fundamental problems, namely:
- Identification of major health issues that can be addressed by imaging
- Identification of theoretical barriers in biomedical imaging related to signal and image processing, modelling and numerical simulation.
Pr Philippe DOUEK is the SPCCT coordinator.. He is Chairman of a consortium of 10 Departments of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine in Lyon Hospital (HCL), France, including 60 physicians and researchers, and 600 paramedical employees; equipment includes 10 CT, 7 MR, 1 PET-CT scanners, with an annual budget of 50 M€. As Professor of radiology, he is a teacher and researcher belonging to CREATIS (CNRS UMR 5220, INSERM U.630). He has more than 15 years of imaging research, with many multidisciplinary projects in this field, as well as international collaboration (NIH, UCSF). He has strong experience in coordination of preclinical and clinical projects in imaging research involving clinicians, basic science researchers; imaging companies and pharmaceutical companies (e.g. the only French national imagery cost effective study PHRC funded called CARMEDAS).
Laboratoire d'Automatique et de Génie des Procédés (LAGEP) is a joint research laboratory (UMR 5007) of the University Lyon 1 and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) located at the University of Lyon 1. This research unit of 40 permanent staff and 80 total staff is devoted to three research areas:
- Process control (one third),
- Chemical engineering (one third) and pharmaceutical engineering (one third),
- The later part being involved in the present project.
The pharmaceutical engineering team of the LAGEP works on three topics: (i) the design of formulations applied to pharmacy and cosmetics, mainly encapsulation of active substances by polymer nanoparticles, microparticles, emulsions, or surfactant-based formulations; (ii) the development and the scale-up of manufacture processes through their modelling; (iii) the evaluation of the end use properties. The main scientific skills are physical chemistry, pharmaceutical formulation and chemical engineering. The LAGEP is well-known in the fields of polymer nanoparticles and emulsions for pharmaceutical applications, both encapsulation of drugs and theranostic materials combining diagnosis and therapeutic purposes. The combination of its various skills allows driving full complex research projects including synthesis chemistry, formulation of dosage forms, assessment of the pharmaceutical properties, fundamental physical chemistry aiming at understanding the underlying mechanisms, development of a manufacture process.
CarMeN is a biomedical center of excellence in cardiovascular diseases, metabolism, diabetology and nutrition. The main research teams and clinical departments in Lyon joined together in CarMeN with the general goal to develop strong interactions between basic research and clinical research, for a better understanding in these pathologies, as well as effective translation of new treatments into the clinics.
The Chemistry Laboratory develops interdisciplinary research projects at the frontiers with biology, material sciences and physics. The group “Functional Materials and Photonics” aims to bring together multidisciplinary expertise involving Molecular Chemistry, Materials Science and Photonic to develop innovative systems based on (nano)functional materials. The expertise lie from molecular modeling to organic and organometallic synthesis, material science (soft chemistry routes, colloidal chemistry) and spectroscopy (two-photon processes, luminescence, non-linear absorption, excited state absorption…). In related topics, the group is involved in several regional (Region Rhône-Alpes), national (ANR, CNRS) or European research projects (EU FP7, Swedish Defence Research Agency). The group has published over 170 papers since 2000 in the field and holds 12 patents
The team functional materials and photonics within the Chemistry Laboratory feature excellence skills in the field of various type of nanoparticles preparation for biological purposes (metal oxides, metal fluorides, metals). This preparation includes synthesis of inorganic core for imaging or therapy (gold, GdF3, YbF3…) and functionalization with highly stable organic agents for biocompatibility and targeting. Characterization of these systems is ensured by consequent equipment available in the ENS laboratory, such as dynamic light scattering (DLS) combined with zeta potential measurements, UV-vis-NIR and Infra-red spectroscopy, EPR, liquid and solid state NMR, Relaxometer, SEM and more recently the lab received a grant for the purchase of an advanced XRD equipment. All these equipments fit perfectly with the needs of the team for the complete characterization of the nanoprobes before use for in vitro or in vivo evaluations.