Nanobiotechnology as a treatment and diagnostics tool for severe diseases

News, Press release

Degenerative central nervous system disorders and different types of cancers are increasing along with the ageing of the population. The treatment and early diagnosis of such diseases calls for new tools. VTT is participating in a new research ecosystem that develops nanobiotechnology solutions for meeting this challenge.

The research project focuses on extracellular vesicles (EV). EVs are nanoscale particles produced by human cells for use in cellular signal transduction. Identification of EVs secreted by cells under specific pathological conditions provides early-stage information on diseases. EVs can also be harnessed for targeted drug delivery and developing drugs interacting with EVs for therapeutic purposes.

In the EV Ecosystem, Finland's leading research organisations, together with the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Orion Pharma and nanotechnology SMEs, join forces to find ways to seize these opportunities.

"It is important and exciting to be part of a consortium that develops new and promising solutions for the medical application of nanotechnologies. Our contribution to the EV Ecosystem is solid expertise in diagnostics, which co-operating under the ecosystem will help strengthen even further," says Leena Hakalahti, Research Team leader at VTT.

"VTT's role is to develop new methods, antibodies and measurement platforms for vesicle analysis. Combined with optical measuring instruments, they will enable high sensitivity identification and accurate characterisation of vesicles, which will improve the quality control of vesicles as drug carriers and also promote their safe use.

Part of diagnostics development at VTT

VTT's expertise in various diagnostic applications is extensive. As part of diagnostic development, we do research on novel reagents and the use of immunochemical methods for diagnostic purposes. VTT also develops analytical devices and sensor technologies needed in diagnostics and molecular measurement, as well as computational tools for diagnostic and forecasting solutions.

VTT's accurate, high sensitivity diagnostic solutions are used to promote modern medicine, health and well-being. The solutions are also applicable in many other sectors, including industrial processes, food safety, and environmental detection.

Leena Hakalahti
Leena Hakalahti
Principal Scientist