Back to search

NANO2021-Nanoteknologi og nye materiale

Project Nano Carrier 2020-2023 – The use of Porous Silicon Nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications

Alternative title: Silisium legemiddelbærer 2020-2023

Awarded: NOK 15.0 mill.

Nacamed has a patented efficient production process for Silicon nanoparticles. These particles can transport active drug ingredients targeted within the body, or function as a depot for an active drug at a specific location within the body. This kind of particles are called drug carriers and can be compared to a vehicle transporting and delivering a drug to the right place in the body at the right time. Earlier research indicates that Silicon nano particles are suitable drug carriers. These particles can carry large volumes of active ingredients, and no adverse effects caused by this drug carrier are yet found neither on the patient nor on the environment. Nacamed focuses on the use of Silicon particles as drug carriers both inside and outside the body, as well as for diagnostic purposes. Nacamed can now, through the research completed by Dynatec Engineering AS, supply particles where previous production challenges have been solved. Nacamed has now established all production steps in Norway, and will continue developing the optimal product through optimizing the production prosess for the next months. Moving of the production to Norway has been an important contributor to increased progression in the project. Drugs have different sizes, physical and chemical characteristics. For loading the silicon particles with a drug and making the particle a drug carrier, the particle has to be modified. Mapping and testing of this has been important so far in the procjet and the work will continue. Some very interesting application areas has been identified. To include the particle in a drug formulation, thorough investigations are necessary to show that the particle behave as expected, and to confirm the safety of the particle in the body. There are today many pharmaceutical companies looking for drug carriers for different purposes. Nacamed has established cooperation with several pharmaceutical partners with specific wishes for drug carriers, for which Nacamed can target the research towards. In 2021 Nacamed has established an inhouse process for production and drug loading of nano-silicon particles and is performing systematic studies on drug release from said partices under various conditions.

The project seeks to develop the world’s first industrial scale production process of porous silicon nanoparticles (pSi-NPs) for use as drug carriers in pharmaceutical products. The project is based on the patented reactor technology by Dynatec Engineering, for which Nacamed has the lifelong IPR rights. This patented production technology is developed through the last 10 years. The suitability of the product for use in pharmaceutical products is already proven through a collaboration project with the University of Helsinki during the previous project (2018-2020), funded by the Norwegian Research Council. A drug carrier is a substrate used in the process of drug delivery which serves to improve the selectivity, effectiveness, and/or safety of drug administration. The research on porous Si materials for use as a drug carrier has been expanding since the early studies of Leigh Canham more than 25 years ago. The Nacamed’s production process will enable the industrial production of these particles, which will make it possible for the pharmaceutical industry to use this drug carrier in their final marketed products. Since the field of competence connected to silicon is already considerable in Norway for energy purposes, the innovation combines the existing academic fields of physics, chemistry, and biology in Norway in a pioneering way. The project will answer to selected needs defined by the pharmaceutical industry for new drug carriers that are sustainable, non-toxic and biodegradable, and the project will be performed in close collaboration with industrial partners. The scientific challenges in the project are related primarily to the preparation steps needed to porosify and coat the particles, and is a natural next step after the last project. By completion of this project period, the full production process should be optimized, the product spesifications clearly defined, and the product can then be included in a pharmaceutical product by an industrial partner.

Funding scheme:

NANO2021-Nanoteknologi og nye materiale