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Appel à projets transnational dans le cadre de l’ERA-NET EuronanoMed (EuroNanoMed 2013) 2013
Projet GadoLymph

Gadolinium Nanohydrogels for Lymph Node Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The lymphatic system is an essential element of the immune system and, in many cancers, a major
route for dissemination of metastatic cancer cells. The pre-therapeutic detection of metastases in
lymph nodes is therefore crucial to determining prognosis and appropriate treatment. Although
imaging techniques such as US, CT or MRI allow detection of lymph nodes, they are limited in
sensitivity, especially in the detection of micrometastases. However in MRI, the diagnosis accuracy
could be improved by contrast agent injection. In order to accurately discriminate between
normal, inflammatory and metastatic tissues, GadoLymph project aims at developing
hypersensitive contrast agents for Lymph Node MRI (LNMRI). An innovative approach, based on
the development of lymphotropic biocompatible nanohydrogels incorporating Gadolinium
chelates, is proposed. Recently we synthesized Gd-nanohydrogels exhibiting high efficacy
(r1~80 mM-1 s-1 at 30 MHz and 10 mM-1 s-1 at 200 MHz). They elicit both a T1 and a T2 response
which represents a real advance to better differentiate between normal and pathological tissues.
To apply these nanoparticles to LNMRI, it is now necessary to design them in order to favor their
lymph node accumulation. In that respect, Gd-nanohydrogel functionalization with perfluorinated
chains or Poloxamers will be considered. These materials, known to promote lymphatic drainage,
are expected to enhance nanoparticle accumulation in lymph nodes. Correlation between the
nanoparticle structure and its biodistribution will allow choosing the best targeting system. Their
toxicological evaluation will be performed to select the safest Gd-functionalized nanohydrogels. To
fulfill this challenge, 6 partners from 3 different European countries are involved in the project.
The French academic partner (URCA) is in charge of Gd-nanohydrogel elaboration and their
functionalization in relation with (1) the Walloon society KitoZyme which produces
pharmaceutical-grade chitosan and (2) the French start up Innov’Orga specialized in fluorine
chemistry. The Walloon academic partner (UMONS) and Reims University Hospital (CHU) will deal
with lymphotropic nanoparticle in vitro relaxivity determination and preclinical evaluation in
animal models. The Romanian partner (University of Bucharest) will be in charge of the
toxicological assessment of the relevant nanoparticles.



Reims University Hospital (CHU Reims) Service de radiologie de l'Hôpital Robert Debré


Aide de l'ANR 347 419 euros
Début et durée du projet scientifique mars 2014 - 36 mois


Programme ANR : Appel à projets transnational dans le cadre de l’ERA-NET EuronanoMed (EuroNanoMed 2013) 2013

Référence projet : ANR-13-ENM2-0001

Coordinateur du projet :


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L'auteur de ce résumé est le coordinateur du projet, qui est responsable du contenu de ce résumé. L'ANR décline par conséquent toute responsabilité quant à son contenu.