Advanced Biomaterials a key focus in the development of Bioorthogonal and Bioresponsive Strategies with Therapeutic Potential


Last week, Biogelx’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Researcher Africa Galvez-Flores attended the 2ndedition of the Bioorthogonal and Bioresponsive symposium.The event was organised and hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the University of Edinburgh Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine; and brought together international scientists from very diverse backgrounds interested in the latest advances in emerging bioorthogonal and bioresponsive strategies. The subject of discussion covered areas of organic, physical, biological and medicinal chemistry, as well as catalysis, nanoscience and biomaterials.

The conference opened with a talk from Professor Vincent Rotello, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As well as being a distinguished scientist, Professor Rotello is an amazing speaker, who engaged the audience with his talk on his latest research on “nanozymes“. These are sophisticated enzyme-like nanoparticles that encapsulate transition metal catalysts for inclusion in bioorthogonal systems, a technology that might have further biomedical applications in cancer treatment. Afterwards, Professor Sarah Heilshorn, from the Materials Science & Engineering Department at Stanford University, talked about adaptive and injectable synthetic hydrogels for regenerative medicine and possible implications in cell transplantation for spinal cord injury. The day continued with a range of flash presentations, poster session and a talk on super-resolution microscopy for the study of the behaviour of nanomaterials, with a focus on drug delivery. This was given by Professor Lorenzo Albertazzi, from the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia. The following day, the attendees had the opportunity to learn from the research of scientists such as Professor Karen Faulds, from the University of Strathclyde, among others. Faulds’ work focuses on novel bioanalytical detection strategies and includes research on visualising 3D breast cancer tumour models.

All in all, the B&B 2019 symposium was a fantastic opportunity to hear from and exchange ideas with leading UK and international experts in Bioorthogonal and Bioresponsive strategies, with an emphasis on their usage as part of promising therapies. The potential of many of these systems rely on the development of advanced biomaterials for nanoparticle and 3D-model engineering, all of which Biogelx has particular interest in, with these being key research themes within the THERACAT project, in which the company is a key consortium member.

THERACAT is a Horizon2020 funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017, Project 765497). It is a multidisciplinary programme, with expertise, cutting-edge facilities, and complementary skills for the development of new catalysis-based approaches to anticancer therapies. Biogelx’s focus is on the development of realistic 3D cancer models using our proprietary peptide hydrogel technology to test the delivery and effectiveness of bio-orthogonal catalytic systems for the treatment of cancer.


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