Partner introduction - 2. Biomodics

STARDUST partner introductions are a series of interviews profiling each partner in our Project. Today it is Biomodics’ turn.

Biomodics is an independent Danish service and technology provider to the life science industry. With a background in the NKT technology cluster Biomodics ApS was founded in 2010 and holds the patent portfolio for supercritical CO, interpenetrating polymer networks and drug delivery. Biomodics’ core technologies and services include supercriticial fluid processing, functional surfaces and materials for drug delivery, biological nano-sensing and characterization, and imaging core facilities. Biomodics is actively working within the field of IPN networks for the health care sector. This focus includes proprietary technology within hybrid polymers and medical devices. Biomodics has repeatedly been acknowledged in events such as the Eurecan European Venture Contest where an international jury selected Biomodics as the overall winner.

  1. Tell us briefly about STARDUST team and expertise.
    A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. Medical devices fails over and over due to mediocre materials. Materials developed for electric insulation, rainwear, bottles for soft drinks and sailcloth for ships are now used as artificial blood vessels. Of cause such solutions may bypass the immediate health issues e.g. restore blood flow, but these materials cause blood clots, inflammations and infections. However they are tolerated by authorities because no better alternative exists. Biomodics have taken the challenge to tailor materials to not only solve the immediate health issue but also provide sustained biocompatibility for a life-time.

    It would be nonsense to expect the extraordinary out of standard components, therefore we make an effort out of building everything from scratch. Through biomimicking, we get inspired by nature’s own solutions and synthesize nature’s own building blocks. These building blocks can then be used to create superior medical devices with new functionalities and performance. Biomodics offer our materials, services and technologies to the life science industry.

  2. What is your role in the STARDUST project? What is the most exciting thing for you in this project?
    In STARDUST our role is to develop and immobilize a light-triggered drug delivery system for the wireless implantable and independent micro-scale device (200x200x200 µm3). Triggered drug delivery systems typically rely on encapsulation of the drug in an amphiphilic block-copolymer, but such an approach would not be applicable for the micro-scale device due to the limited size restrictions. Instead, we aim at physically binding the drug to the device by intermolecular interactions between the drug and a novel light sensitive material. Light changes the structure of the light sensitive material which in turn weakens the physical bond and releases the drug safely from the surface of the micro-scale device.

  3. What do you hope to achieve with the project? What impact would you like to see?
    A generic light-triggered drug delivery system that can be truly switched on and off. Triggered drug delivery systems, in general, have a certain background release of drug. Our target is a that we can obtain zero background release and decide when, where and how much drug is released. Such a drug delivery system would be the first of its kind and have huge impact on the existing drug delivery market.

  4. What are your results so far? And what are the biggest challenges?
    We have now developed the light-triggered drug delivery system. The next challenge is to immobilize it on the micro-scale device. This requires downscaling of coating techniques.

Linda Wederhorn
Peter Hegemann (Humboldt University) honored with Warren Alpert prize for optogenetics research

STARDUST project partner Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann from Humboldt University of Berlin was honored with the Warren Alpert prize for his revolutionary research on optogenetics, the basis behind the STARDUST project.

The Warren Alpert Foundation recognizes and honors yearly one or more scientists, physicians or researchers whose scientific achievements have led to the prevention, cure or treatment of human diseases or disorders, and/or whose research constitutes a seminal scientific finding that holds great promise of ultimately changing our understanding of or ability to treat disease.

Optogenetics pioneer Peter Hegemann is Hertie professor of Neuroscience in Humboldt University in the Experimental Biophysics group. He has studied light-sensitive molecular channels in single-cell organisms — the key proteins that make optogenetic manipulation possible — and discovered the key principles of light-sensitive channel structure and function along with Karl Deisseroth.

See more

hegemann.jpg

I feel deeply honored to receive this prestigious award in recognition of the research I conducted with my extraordinary coworkers over many years. I hope the award will promote fundamental basic research for future applications that we have not the slightest idea about quite yet…

- Peter Hegemann

Linda Wederhorn
Partner introduction - 1. Aarhus University

STARDUST partner introductions are a series of interviews profiling each partner in our Project. Today, the first spotlight is shed on our Project Coordinator Aarhus University.

Aarhus University (AU) is a top ten university among universities founded within the past 100 years. It has a long tradition of partnerships with some of the world's best research institutions and university networks. AU has a strong commitment to the development of society that is realised through its collaboration with government agencies and institutions and the business community.

  1. Tell us briefly about STARDUST team and expertise.
    STARDUST is an interdisciplinary team of different expertise going from very basic science in biology to applied advanced technology. STARDUST team as a complementary team to achieve the smallest and the most efficient device targeting small area of the brain (GPe) includes scientists from different fields from molecular bioscience, optogenetics, engineering, nanoelectronics, photonics, material science and neuroscience. These teams in a regular basis do not collaborate with each other. STARDUST brings them together for a better understanding of the challenges for finding solutions to cure Parkinson’s Disease. For this perspective, STARDUST consortium is unique.

  2. Could you tell in a few words what exactly STARDUST is? Where does the idea for this project come from?
    The original idea for building such a device for optogenetics comes from Farshad Moradi’s research within integrated chip design for neurological disorders. Targeting Parkinson’s Disease comes from Lane Krejčová as she was working in this area.

  3. What is your role in the STARDUST project? What is the most exciting thing for you in this project?
    Obviously Aarhus is coordinating the project and we would say this is not the most exciting task for us, but rather working with these great people within STARDUST’s consortium with years of experience within their field. From a scientific point of view, of course, we would like to see that the idea works at the end. Fingers crossed.

  4. What do you hope to achieve with the project? What impact would you like to see?
    Definitely, neurological disorders are affecting our society badly. Taking the total years of disability for such patients into account we are talking about millions of years of disability. Finding a solution for curing Parkinson’s Disease and probably in a later stage other disease, if the idea works, will be an amazing outcome to see.

  5. What are your results so far?
    So far, from both biology side and technology side we have made good progress. At the moment the first version of the implantable device is ready for integration and hopefully we will get to try the device on mice soon.

Aarhus University team involved in STARDUST:   Integrated Nanoelectronics

Aarhus University team involved in STARDUST:
Integrated Nanoelectronics

Eerika Ala-Kantti
Neuroscience Day (13 May 2019)

Neuroscience Day - bridging basic and clinical research

NeuroCampus Aarhus hosts an annual Neuroscience Day for all affiliated research labs and centres as well as for students and other people with interest in neuroscience.  By bringing basic and clinical scientists together, the organisers wish to encourage collaborations and strengthen translational neuroscience research within the NeuroCampus Aarhus research cluster.

ICELab team from Aarhus University attended the Neuroscience Day workshop on 13 May 2019 in Aarhus, Denmark with works from STARDUST and HERMES FET-EU projects. The project STARDUST was presented by Farshad MoradiSeyedsina Hosseini Amin Rashidi.

Linda Wederhorn
Regional meeting of FeSBE 2019 (29 May 2019)

Project partners UFPA and CENP presented their work on the STARDUST project in the Regional meeting of FeSBE (Federação de Sociedades de Biologia Experimental) on 29 May 2019 in Belém (PA), Brazil.

Carlomagno Bahia, Jose Augusto Muniz, Leon Claudio Leal and Lane Krejčová from UFPA Parkinson group attended the meeting.

Lane Krejčová’s symposia presentation was entitled "A importância do modelo primata no desenvolvimento de ferramentas de manipulação optogenética para o tratamento da doença de Parkinson." (The importance of the primate models in the development of optogenetic manipulation tools for the treatment of Parkinson's disease).

The poster presented by Leon Leal with the preliminary results from the pilot experiments in primates here received honorable mention during the closing ceremony!

Linda Wederhorn
Meet STARDUST consortium at conferences around the world in May 2019

Come meet STARDUST partners at following events around the world in May 2019:

CNRS @ NeuroFrance 2019, 22-24 May 2019, Marseille, France

Thursday 23 May 2019 at 10:00-11:00 Poster session
Marianne Amalric: Robustness of behavioral and electrophysiological phenotypes of SK3KO mice in Parkinsonian conditions

Aarhus University (AU) @ ISCAS 2019 (International Symposium on Circuits and Systems)

26-29 May 2019, Sapporo, Japan

Monday 27 May 2019 at 15:20-17:10 Special Session: Emerging Devices & Circuits for Neuromorphic Systems
Farshad Moradi: LAS-NCS: a Laser-Assisted Spintronic Neuromorphic Computing System

Federal University of Pará (UFPA) @ Regional meeting of FeSBE 2019 (Federação de Sociedades de Biologia Experimental)

29-31 May 2019, Belém (PA), Brazil

Wednesday 29 May 2019 at 14:30-16:00 Pesquisas experimentais desenvolvidas no Instituto Evandro Chagas
Lane Viana Krejcová: A importância do modelo primata no desenvolvimento de ferramentas de manipulação optogenética para o tratamento da doença de Parkinson

Linda Wederhorn
CNRS at IBAGS 2019 (28 April - 2 May 2019)

STARDUST partner CNRS was presenting the project results in the 13th edition of IBAGS (International Basal Ganglia Society Meeting 2019) meeting 28th April - 2nd May in Biarritz, France. IBAGS is a meeting that gathers outstanding scientists and clinicians from all over the world to discuss about topics related to basal ganglia pathways, physiology, reinforcement learning and related disorders.

Abdel Ouagazzal and Marianne Amalric from CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences were presenting their poster with title Effects of External Globus Pallidus Photostimulation on Motor Behavior in Normal and Hemi-Parkinson Mice.

Read the abstract

Linda Wederhorn
Tyndall internal poster competition (25 April 2019)

PhD student Tanmay Mondal from Tyndall National Institute at UCC (University College Cork) participated in the internal poster competition sponsored by Intel Ireland with his poster Ultrahigh efficiency μLEDs to counter Parkinson’s Disease in Cork, Ireland.

See poster

Linda Wederhorn