The National University of Hurlingham (UNAHUR) is committed to science and the contribution of biotechnology to solving situations that threaten human health. In the context of a post-pandemic phase, the Laboratory of Nanosystems for Biotechnological Application (LANSAB) intensified its work with several lines of studies to contribute to the treatment of various skin diseases such as skin cancer and cutaneous leishmaniasis (parasitic disease). worldwide distribution, endemic to 9 provinces in northern Argentina).
The research group led by Jorge Montanari, independent researcher at CONICET and professor at UNAHUR, seeks to exploit the different properties of nanostructures to change the routes of drug delivery or reposition them. As part of this project, they also propose to generate heat locally; reduce unwanted effects; Generate more effective therapies and contribute to the well-being of patients with skin diseases with less invasive therapies.
Natalia Calienni, also a researcher at CONICET and co-director of LANSAB, spoke to the Suplemente Universidad de Página/12 and gave an overview of the advances in human health that are being achieved in space.
In this sense, he confirmed that “most of the research directions are aimed at the treatment of skin diseases,” while acknowledging the expansion of the laboratory and the contribution of the public university.
Regarding the development of one of the projects, he emphasized that work has been continuing “since 2014 on the next-generation oncology drug Vismodegib, approved for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.” In contact with this medium, it says: “It has been successfully encapsulated into various drug delivery nanosystems to change its route of administration from oral to topical,” presenting new possibilities in the treatment of the disease.
“In the specific case of ultradeformable liposomes (LUD) loaded with vismodegib, these showed high encapsulation efficiency and made it possible to achieve active concentrations in the skin that were approximately three times the maximum expected to reach the tumor area upon administration. verbally,” emphasized Calienni.
For the researcher, the aim is “to study the in vivo antitumor activity of these nanoformulations in the short to medium term”, a specific work carried out in collaboration with Dr. Daniel González Maglio (FFyB-UBA).
As for the implementation of the advances in everyday life, the co-director of LANSAB was cautious: “Sometimes people think that there is a cure, but these are laboratory stages.” We are reaching a stage where it is being tested on mice. We still have a big step ahead of us, namely conducting clinical tests. The truth is that there must also be a private interest, not just that of the state, because carrying out the tests is expensive. We often run into these obstacles.”
And he continued: “We don’t want to create false expectations that we have a cure and we don’t share it. “We’re trying to move things forward, but we know they’re in the experimental stage.”
In the same context of studies to combat cancerous skin lesions, Calienni evaluated and developed ways to use nanoformulations loaded with cannabidiol (a chemical substance found in marijuana).
“Work is underway to encapsulate cannabidiol (CBD) into various types of lipid nanoparticles so that these nanoformulations allow the local topical application of CBD to potential skin cancer lesions, that is, tumors that exhibit overactivation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway.” Hh), for which there is evidence that CBD acts as an antagonist. “We are starting with in vitro tests to determine the cytotoxicity and antitumor activity of the nanoformulations,” he emphasized.
The LANSAB team, led by Montanari and co-led by Calienni, consists of researchers Drs. Luciano Gabbarini (Conicet Associate Researcher and UNAHUR Associate Professor) and Dr. Cristian Lillo. (CONICET Assistant Researcher and UNAHUR Adjunct Professor).
In addition, Lic. Martin Lemos Vilches is involved in the team. (Biotechnology from UNAHUR), Lic. Magalí Di Meglio (Biotechnology from UNQ), Lic. Ana Sanguinetti (Biotechnology from UNC) and Lic. Marina Turrado (Biotechnology from UNAHUR), in their roles as doctoral students. Mirian Scavone. (UNQ Lic. Est. in Biotechnology) and Anahí Neri (UNAHUR Lic. Est. in Biotechnology) as bachelor scholarship holders.
The list is completed by ad honorem dissertations and interns: Victoria Didier Garnham, Gisel Sosa, Cynthia Godoy, Sebastián Ifrán and Adriana Luxen (University of Biotechnology in UNAHUR); and Lic. Emiliano Nicodemo (Biotechnology of UNAHUR) as research support staff.
In terms of funding, the university approved research projects in accordance with the PIUNAHUR call for proposals. At the same time, CONICET also makes a contribution. In 2023 alone, 34 24-month projects totaling $23,565,080 were funded, covering various areas of the university.
LANSAB provided ongoing funding for the “Hybrid Nanosystems for Human Health: Towards Less Invasive and More Effective Therapies” program led by Dr. Natalia Calienni and under the co-leadership of Dr. Jorge Montanari received 1 million pesos. At the same time, the “Nanotechnological Strategies for Topical Skin Cancer Treatment (Part II)” program was approved with an investment of $600,000, among many others.