Master 2 : 6 months internship offer Formulation of polyoxometalate as imaging contrast agent

Organization of the internship:
Duration: 6 months.

Period: from February to July 2023.

Localisation: LAGEPP, CPE, La Doua, Villeurbanne.

Supervisors: Dr. Eloïse Thomas, Dr. Yves Chevalier.

Contact :
Application: please send a resume and a letter of motivation (including references). Master 1 and
Master 2 results (if known) should also be provided to support the application.

A PhD application is possible at the end of the internship.

In the context of a project PlanCancer two laboratories will work together:

Research Field: Galenic formulation

Laboratories: The LAGEPP ( is a research laboratory of the University
Lyon 1 and the French national Institute for scientific research (CNRS UMR 5007). The LAGEPPGepharm
“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, physicochemical 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 Kedge 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, nonspecific 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 formulated POM will be studied (stability, interactions
with biomolecules, etc.). Various technics will be used. In vitro toxicity of formulations may also be evaluated
during the internship on cells models of interest. In vitro imaging efficiency will be evaluated in collaboration
with cardiovascular radiologist (CREATIS lab, Lyon).

Candidate profile: Skills and knowledge in chemistry, formulation for health applications, physicochemical
analysis. Motivated, curious, autonomous. Interest for interdisciplinary research.

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