The NanoCardio project is in line with the INTERREGV Program strategy by meeting the EU priority axis ‘Improve and support the cross-border collaboration in research and innovation’. Indeed, it allows to :
- Make durable the pre-existing exchanges in terms of research and innovation between the UMONS and the URCA and also develop a new collaboration with the UGENT
- Reinforce the potential of innovation of the zone in a high-impact sector (nanodevices for clinical diagnosis in particularly in the cardiovascular field)
- Prepare the transfert phase of the results toward the clinics, by including in the project management a Walloon spin-off specialized in magnetic nanoparticles biodistribution studies in small animals, set up a multidisciplinary consortium whose objectives will be to develop nanoprobes allowing the active targeting of pathologies, to evidence their efficacy and innocuousness in vitro and to start the in vivo MRI and fluorescence imaging experiments which are necessary before their transfer toward companies in the field
It should be emphasized that in the medical and pharmaceutical field but also from an ethical aspect, these two points are chronologically unavoidable and the project’s management respects that chronology.
- Galvanize and structure the knowledges and skills around nanomaterials in the health sector in general, in the zone thanks to the complementarity between the teams involved in the project
- Increase the mobility of researchers within the zone and the ease of access to preclinical research equipments (imagers from the preclinical biomedical imaging platform of the Center for Microscopy and Molecular Imaging, UMONS)
It also aims at proposing an offer of specific inter-university formation, in the field of nanodevices for medical diagnosis by integrating the various aspects leading to their implementation (production and characterization of nanostructures for health, imaging, nanotoxicology). Finally, it sets the objective to increase the visibility of the results that it may raise, to show that the Universities of the cross-border zone can be operators that count in the field of health nanosciences.
In the framework of the NanoCardio project, the cross-border approach allows to reinforce the collaboration between teams with complementary knowledges and skills. Some of the project partners are already collaborating and common results have already been acquired on other problematics. The composed consortium’s capacities are enlarged scientifically, especially in terms of nanotoxicology (which is essential for the targeted applications but also from an ethical point of view with respect to the use of these nanoparticles).
The interest of this project is also to take advantage of the geographic proximity between the stakeholders to carry out more are ambitious projects. The current actions show us that this proximity is an asset to improve the response time between the partners. This has a direct impact on the feedback and the pooling of the research practices.
To our eyes, this point is crucial especially when the projects are interdisciplinary. To be able to communicate in proximity allows to reduce the disciplinary borders, which is an asset to reach our objectives. This also allows a better mobility of the researchers which can thereby help their partners when common experiences require complementary skills. We intend to set up a lasting operational network at the end of the project whose aim will be to transfer the acquired technology via the transfer cells from the cross-border zone et to develop the formation actions in the emerging field of health nanosciences.