EPSRC grant to revolutionise detection and treatment of life-threatening illnesses
16 February 2018
A multi-institutional research team that includes Professors Andreas Schätzlein and Ijeoma Uchegbu (UCL School of Pharmacy) has received £5.7 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for an innovative new five-year project, Raman Nanotheranostics (RaNT) - developing the targeted diagnostics and therapeutics of the future by combining light and functionalised nanoparticles.
The grant will fund a research partnership between the UCL School of Pharmacy, Exeter, the University of Cambridge and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Central Laser Facility.
The project aims to use the emerging field of nanotheranostics – a combination of therapy and diagnosis - to identify and treat disease in a single, effective non-surgical procedure. The research team behind the project believe it has the potential not just to increase survival rates and quality of life, but also potentially save many hundreds of millions of pounds across the UK each year by reducing numbers of ineffective or unnecessary treatments.
They will use gold nanotechnologies – small, non-toxic gold particles which can be used both for identifying and localising disease, as well as for targeted treatments using light to destroy diseased cells in the body in a controlled and safe manner. The research will also aim to provide more accurate diagnosis by pinpointing specific cells, and also lead to improved localised treatment that can be tailored to each individual patient.
The project will be led by Exeter with approximately £1 million of funding coming to UCL.