Internship M2 : Formulation of polyoxometalate as imaging contrast agent

Laboratories: The LAGEPP (https://lagepp.univ-lyon1.fr/en/home/) is a research laboratory of the University Lyon 1 and the French national Institute for scientific research (CNRS UMR 5007). The LAGEPP-Gepharm “pharmaceutical engineering” team gathers strong pluridisciplinary competences (pharmaceutical formulation, cosmetic formulation, physical chemistry) in close collaboration with national and international research and development centers in industry or in academia.

Keywords: polyoxometalates, formulation, imaging contrast agent, physico-chemical characterizations.

Project description:
Background: The Spectral Photon Counting Scanner (SPCCT) is a new imaging modality with advantages over CT (high count rate and spatial resolution). SPCCT can also simultaneously quantify multiple features providing valuable diagnostic information. To exploit the full potential of SPCCT, new contrast agents must be developed. For high sensitivity, these must be composed of elements with high K-edge energies, such as tungsten (W) and tantalum (Ta). One of the challenges is to develop contrast agents with a size between 1 and 10 nm for optimal biodistribution. The goal of this project is to develop efficient SPCCT contrast agents using polyoxometalates (POM). The diversity of their structure and composition allows a great versatility of their properties which explains the growing interest for their applications in diagnosis or therapy. However, many POM present poor stability in water, non-specific interactions with biomolecules or toxicity.
Objectives: To overcome these problems, in this project, POM will be formulated by physisorption with polymers or proteins of interest. The encapsulation of POM in small nanoparticles may also be evaluated. After formulation, the physicochemical properties of POM will be studied (stability, interactions with biomolecules, etc.).

Candidate profile: Skills and knowledge in chemistry, formulation, physicochemical analysis. Interest in transdisciplinary subjects. Motivated, curious, autonomous.

Organization of the internship:
• Duration: 6 months.
• Beginning of the internship: ~1st of February 2021.
• Localisation: LAGEPP, CPE, La Doua, Villeurbanne.
• Supervisors: Dr. Eloïse Thomas, Dr. Yves Chevalier.
• Contact : eloise.thomas@univ-lyon1.fr
• Application: please send a resume and a letter of motivation (including references). Master 1 results should also be provided to support the application.
• Application for a PhD may be possible at the end of the internship (ANR or doctoral school).

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