FUND NCI – Technology Area (TA) (NWO)
Our proposal will revolve around the development of fluorescence chemistry upon an upconversion nanoparticle (UCN) platform to provide a targeted and less toxic approach towards tumour therapy. UCNs also display the unique property of emitting visible light following photoexcitation with near-infrared laser light. This results in features such as absence of autofluorescence (from biological matter) and easy separation of the emission bands from stray light and the absence of blinking effects. In addition, we will add the targeted radionuclide component as postoperative treatment after image-guided surgery. A bioorthogonal chemical reaction will be employed for the recruitment of the small radiolabeled probe to the targeting moiety. The benefit of such a reaction is that the radiotherapy would only target tumour cells. Once the technique gets implemented clinically, it would mean that the patient does not incur systemic side-effects resulting in hair loss or prolonged nausea, etc., which is often seen in more conventional treatments.