School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Alena Vdovchenko


Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher/PhD student



Project title: Functional nanoparticles for neural stem cells drug delivery

Summary: Nowadays, such brain dysregulations as neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and traumatic injuries remain a tremendous problem in modern society. The NANOSTEM network ( offers a novel approach in brain treatment based on neural stem cells (NSC) administration. Nanoparticles, loaded with developed pharmaceuticals, could induce the proliferation and differentiation of NSC leading to brain recovery. Thus, the overall aim of the multidisciplinary network is to develop advanced nanostructured materials designed to transport drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and effectively target NSCs. This goal will be achieved with the collaboration of several scientific groups and industries, particularly, this projects as part of the NANOSTEM network will include three secondments – 6-month secondment in The University of Birmingham with Prof O’Reilly research group, 1-month in the Artois University with Prof Marie Dehouck research group and 2 week secondment in industry (MJR PharmJet, Germany).

The main objectives of the project include the synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles containing functional monomers via ring-opening polymerization (ROP) and Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) techniques. For the versatile development of produced nanomaterials, the study of drug loading and protein corona formation will be carried out, as well as permeation studies of fluorophore-labelled NPs in BBB models. Thereby, the design of novel functional nanomaterials capable of efficiently transporting pharmaceuticals to NSC has become the main prospect of the present researc