Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action IF NMR4Nanos

H2020 MSCA IF 2015 Standard EF

“NMR4Nanos - Development and application of NMR-based tools to inorganic nanocarriers for effective vaccine delivery”

Livia NagyThe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ‘Development and application of NMR-based tools to inorganic nanocarriers for effective vaccine delivery’ is a highly interdisciplinary two-year-long Individual Fellowship. It brings together Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry and Cell Biology. The NMR and Structural Analysis research group (NMRstr) of Ghent University hosts a postdoctoral researcher preparing vaccine nanocarriers, and trains her to apply NMR toolbox to these samples. Secondment institutions taking part in this project are the Savvas Savvides lab at the Center for Inflammation Research of Vlaams Institute voor Biotechnologie, the Functional Pharmacology Research Group at the Research Centre for Natural Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (RCNS), and the Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines (GeRN) led by Prof. Dr. Stefaan de Smedt at Ghent University.

The project

NMR4NanosNew inorganic vaccine nanocarriers are to be developed in the size range of 20-200nm with controlled surface properties and spherical shape using core@shell methodology. The surface of silica@zirconia and silica@hydroxyapatite nanoparticles will be decorated by immunestimulators.

The new materials will undergo classical analyses such as TEM, FTIR, DLS, zeta potential measurements. NMRstr group has a solution state NMR toolbox for the surface-sensitive characterization of adsorbing molecules. These methods primarily include quantitative NMR, diffusion NMR and Nuclear Overhauser Effect (NOE) spectroscopy, which will be used to characterise ligand shell composition, ligand density, the size and the structure of the complex and relative binding strengths of the ligands.

The performance of the NMR spectroscopic techniques is strongly dependent on the size and shape of the observed NPs that is the reason for the synthesis of various NP size.

As the understanding of structure-function and structure-toxicity relationship is still unclear, secondments will be devoted to the assessment of blood stability, in vitro toxicity assay, particle uptake and the study of the particle immunogenicity in DC cells (GeRN) and toxicity in hepatocyte cells (RCNS).


Objective 1: Elaboration of a series of particles in the size range of 20-200nm with identical shape and surface properties, narrow size distribution and free of impurities.

Objective 2: Application and further development of NMR-based toolbox for the versatile characterization of model ligand adsorption NP surface.

Objective 3: Development of effective vaccine carriers by the adsorption of immune stimulators onto the surface of new NP platforms. The stability, immunological and toxicological properties of vaccine carrier candidates with variable NP size range and surface properties and with different adjuvants are to be assessed.

    Role of Ghent University

    The NMRstr group of Ghent University is hosting a postdoctoral research fellow new to Ghent and is providing her with new skills for NP analysis. Other research groups take part in the project by allowing access to synthesis facilities (SCRIPTS), analysis instruments and providing secondment (GeRN).



    Phone number: +32 (0)9 264 4488

    Prof. José C. Martins
    Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry
    Phone number: +32 (0)9 264 44 69