MANTRA Demonstration of magnetic targeting to the eye based on in-vitro and ex-vivo experiments as well as development of magnetic nanoparticles with properties optimized for this application



The transport of diagnostic and therapeutic substances to destinations on and in the eye is significantly hindered by its anatomy and physiology. Current methods for applying the substances are either characterized by a very low degree of effectiveness and possible side effects (dripping onto the cornea, intravenous injection) or are not very acceptable for doctors and patients because of their high invasiveness and enormous costs (intravitreal injection). This impairs the implementation and effectiveness of diagnostic and therapeutic methods, in the development of which enormous progress has been made in recent years. To overcome these obstacles, we are investigating a new basic technology that realizes the directed transport of substances to the eye, for the first time also through tissue, with the help of magnetic nanoparticles. These substances are bound to coated and functionalized magnetic nanoparticles and transported to their destination by applied magnetic fields. The goals of our research project are the development of a corresponding demonstrator of the magnetic field applicator as well as the proof of the principle functionality of this basic technology within the scope of a key experiment. For this purpose, boundary conditions for the choice of magnetic nanoparticles are to be defined and optimal spatial and temporal progressions of magnetic fields are to be determined. The knowledge gained from this is to be verified experimentally. The feasibility of the new basic technology is to be demonstrated in in-vitro and ex-vivo studies on removed animal tissue and organs. This project is financially supported by the European Union as part of the joint project "Demonstration of magnetic drug administration to the eye: Development, construction and testing of magnetic field applicators for targeted substance transport using magnetic nanoparticles" of the Thuringian construction bank. The coordinator of the joint project is Prof. Dutz / TU Ilmenau.

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