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IMO - IMOMEC

Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action

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The IMO-IMOMEC DSOS-group develops PPV-based nanoparts for the multiple sceloris research    Apr 01, 2016

Blood-Brain barrier
Apr 01, 2016

CONTACT

Prof. dr. Thomas JUNKERS

32-11-268318

thomas.junkers@uhasselt.be


The IMO-IMOMEC Design & synthesis of organic semiconductors group (DSOS-group) aims to develop a method to visualize the multiple sclerosis activity in the central nerve system with a closed blood-brain barrier. This is done by synthesizing  functionalized nanoparticles (NPs), consisting of  poly(p-phenylene vinylene) semi-conductor polymers.

Multiples sclerosis is a chronical desease whereby the immune system

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease in which the immune system causes damage to the central nervous system by destroying myelin sheaths. In 85% of cases, the disease has a pattern that alternates between the worsening of symptoms, and remission. Although there has been much research into this disease, the search for the cause is still ongoing. This is partly because the blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions as a neuro-protective shield, and therefore foreign substances are denied the access to the brains. Depending on the state of the disease the BBB is permeable or non-permeable.

Synthesis of NPs, material development and biomedical application will be addressed through a multidisciplinary approach. After the synthesis, NP and adjustments are carried out in vitro studies to test the toxicity, immune response, and cellular uptake. Based on the results, the designed materials and the particles will be improved. The final selected polymer blend will be used for in vivo animal studies, in which is being looked at plasma stability, biodistribution and MS brain activity. This study will result in a better understanding of NP use in the human body, in particular the brains, provide new insights into the progression of MS and lead to a widening of the scope of PPV derivatives.