Valentina Cauda is coordinator of the FET Open MIMIC-KeY collaborative project, to study extracellular vesicles (EVs) to understand their targeting behavior and cargo delivery in natural systems and mimic it to create new artificial therapeutic EVs.

The consortium is composed by:
Politecnico di Torino, Italy (coordinator)
Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Italy
Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands
Fundacio Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron – Institut de Recerca, Spain
Oxford Nanoimaging, UK

The in depth study of natural EVs will be used to build up new artificial materials that have the same targeting capabilities, but are much more scalable and mono disperse of the natural EVs. The MIMICK-KeY concept is to learn from tumor-derived EVs and from their ability to recognize and target tissue-specific features during metastasis. Thus, cancer is not the disease to treat but a source of inspiration to build artificial nanomaterials that mimic the EVs and enable them to fight other clinically unmet diseases, specifically metabolic bone disorders.

The breakthrough idea of artificial EV-mimics, using only essential building blocks and amplifying their therapeutic functions, will overcome the current limitations of natural EVs and represent a challenge at the frontiers of research. MIMICK-KeY is a high-risk proposal that if successful can lead to a completely new way to conceive bio-inspired mimetic nanoparticles and their functions, impacting on a plethora of applications.

For more details, visit the project official website

This project received funding under the H2020-FET-OPEN-RIA-2020 call with GA N. 964386