26. January 2023 | Press releases:

TU researcher receives award for nanomedicine modular system Breast Cancer Research Junior Award goes to Dr. Viktor Maurer

Dr. Viktor Maurer, a researcher at Technische Universität Braunschweig, has been awarded the Breast Cancer Research Junior Award for his dissertation on the formulation of hybrid nanostructures. The nanoparticle systems are to be used in cancer diagnostics and therapy, for example for the transport of active substances and diagnostics. The prize, endowed with 5,000 euros, is awarded once a year for special achievements in breast cancer research by the Claudia von Schilling Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, Zurich.

In his dissertation, Dr. Viktor Maurer (working group of Prof. Dr. Georg Garnweitner at the Institute for Particle Technology) investigated the combination of differently produced inorganic nanoparticles with other nanoscale building blocks as well as their encapsulation in organic carrier systems, the niosomes. Niosomes are nanometre-sized vesicles of surfactants and cholesterol, surrounded by a double membrane, which can be used to transport active substances, diagnostics and entire nanoparticles.

Research on nanomedical hybrid systems at the PVZ

The combination of different inorganic and organic components enables a modular system to realise a wide variety of functions. The basic technology is based on niosomes as transport particles that bind highly specifically to cells, penetrate into them and are able to introduce a wide variety of substances (dyes, active substances, inorganic nanomaterials, DNA, RNA, etc.) into the cells simultaneously.

On this basis, several cell-biological (e.g. cell sorting, genetic modifications) as well as clinical (e.g. active substance transport, imaging) applications can be realised simultaneously with only one product. Due to the possibility of variable combinations of different substances as “cargo”, customised systems can be used – according to the requirements of the respective application.

Dr. Maurer’s work provides important impulses in the field of nanomedicine and represents a significant first step towards establishing comprehensive competences in the production and formulation of multifunctional nanomedical hybrid systems at the Center of Pharmaceutical Engineering (PVZ).

Spin-off company for the production of transport nanoparticles

The research also provides the technological basis for a spin-off project. From now on, multifunctional transport nanoparticles for biotechnological and biomedical applications will be designed and produced within the framework of “InCapSolution”, which stands for Intelligent Carrier Particle Solution. This project by Dr Maurer is funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics, Transport, Building and Digitalisation as part of the “High-Tech Incubators”.

The work was carried out through close cooperation between the working groups of Prof. Dr. Georg Garnweitner (Institute for Particle Technology, TU Braunschweig), Prof. Dr. Peter M. Vogt (Department of Plastic, Aesthetic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheper (Institute of Technical Chemistry, Leibniz Universität Hannover).