• Bron: Scopus
20182021

Onderzoeksresultaten per jaar

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Persoonlijk profiel

Academic background

Chiara Pretto, (1992, Vicenza) received her M.Sc. in Medical Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Padua in 2016. During her master, she worked in the lab of Prof. T. Viitala (University of Helsinki) and Prof. S. Salmaso (University of Padua) on Surface Plasmon Resonance for in vitro biological characterization of drug nanocarriers. Between January and April 2017 she performed an internship at the Philochem Company (Zurich) working on antibody production. Since May 2017, she holds a PhD position in the group of Prof. J.C.M. van Hest at the Technology University of Eindhoven. Her work focuses on protein cages modified for cell selective delivery to retinal cells.

Quote

Developing virus-like particles for ocular delivery

Research profile

The eye is a complex organ responsible for our vision. It allows us to distinguish shapes and colors thanks to the extraordinary ability of retinal photoreceptors to convert light stimuli into electrical signals to the brain. Several pathologies affecting the back of the eye such as Age-related Macular Degeneration are the major cause of vision loss worldwide and the development of smart nano-systems capable of releasing therapeutic to the retina has nowadays become a real need. From this prospective, my goal is to investigate the applicability of an innovative protein cage based on the Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle Virus for oligonucleotides delivery to the posterior segment of the eye. This plant virus has a dynamic structure composed of identical protein subunits forming an icosahedral shell of 28 nm in diameter. A promising feature of such a system is its pH-dependent capability to reversibly self-assemble into virus-like particles allowing us to encapsulate specific cargos in their interior. This scaffold has been selected for its biodegradability and biocompatibility as well as its high loading capacity. The aim of this project is to encapsulate therapeutic oligonucleotides into these protein cages and functionalize the particle surface in order to achieve selective delivery to retinal cells.

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