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Project 175102

Title: Application of functionalized carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles in the preparation of dendritic cells for tumor therapy (2011-)
Funding: Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia
Realization by: Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy, University of Belgrade
Project leader: Miodrag Čolić, Academician, Full Research Professor, INEP

Subject and description:
The project subject is the development of new protocol for preparation of autologous dendritic cells (DC) vaccines for tumor therapy by using nanomaterials. Autologous DC vaccines are the most promising approach for cancer therapy. However, protocols for the preparation of immunogenic DC have yet to overcome immune-evasive mechanisms of tumor. The original concept proposed in the project includes application of nanomaterials as carriers of immunostimulatory molecules and tumor antigens that could increase the immunogenicity of DC and overcome the suppressive tumor microenvironment. The nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes, graphene quantum dots, cellulose nanofibers, gold nanoparticles etc., exhibit high binding potential for biomolecules and excellent physico-chemical properties for such an application. The research is being conducted using models of human monocyte-derived DC of inflammatory and Langerhans DC in vitro, whereas in vivo models for testing the efficacy of DC vaccine include mouse tumor models like B16F10 melanoma model. In addition to complex immunological investigations of DC differentiation, maturation and functions, we are also focused on mechanisms involved in suppression of DC-mediated immune response by the tumor. The ultimate project goal is to find the optimal combination of nanomaterial, stimuli and tumor antigen which will augment antigen-presenting and immunogenic properties of DC that are able to induce the development of Th1 and Th17 CD4+T cell populations and cytotoxic CD8+T cells, thus improving the efficacy of DC tumor vaccines. The collection of DC precursors from the afferent blood of cancer patients and improvements of cryopreservation methods of DC vaccines will enable the application of this personalized immunotherapy more efficient and applicable in Serbia for the first time.

Research team:
Academician Prof. Dr Miodrag Čolić, Full Research Professor, Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy University in Belgrade, mjcolic@eunet.rs

Prof. Dr Ivan Micić, Associate Professor, Medical Faculty University in Niš, ivanmicic2000@yahoo.com
dr Jelena Popović, Assistant Professor, Biological Faculty University in Niš, jelenadp@gmail.com
Dr Tanja Džopalić, Associate Professor, Medical Faculty University in Niš, tanjche80@gmail.com
Prof. Dr Petar Uskoković, Full Professor, Faculty for Technology and Metallurgy University in Belgrade, puskoković@tmf.bg.ac.rs
dr Slavica Lazarević, Assistant Research Professor, Faculty for Technology and Metallurgy University in Belgrade, slazarevic@tmf.bg.ac.rs
Prof. Dr Dragana Vučević, external collaborator, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy University of Defense, Belgrade draganavucevic@yahoo.com
Prof. dr Biljana Božić, Full Professor, Biological Faculty University in Belgrade, najbiljana@yahoo.com
Prof. Dr Saša Vasilijić, external collaborator, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy University of Defense, Belgrade, vasilijics@yahoo.co.uk
Dr Petar Milosavljević, external collaborator, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy University of Defense, Belgrade
Prof. Dr Danilo Vojvodić, external collaborator, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy University of Defense, Belgrade
dr Alisa Gruden Movsesijan, Full Research Professor, Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy University in Belgrade, alisa@inep.co.rs
dr Nataša Ilić, Associate Research Professor, Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy University in Belgrade, natasa@inep.co.rs
Prof. Dr. Rebeka Rudolf, external collaborator, Faculty for Mechanical Engineering, University in Maribor, Slovenia, rebeka.rudolf@uni-mb.si
dr Jelena Đokić, Assistant Research Professor, Institute for Molecular Genetics and Genetical Engineering University in Belgrade, jelena.djokich@gmail.com
dr Sergej Tomić, Assistant Research Professor, Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy University in Belgrade, sergej.tomic@inep.co.rs
Dr Ivan Rajković, external collaborator, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy University of Defense, Belgrade
Dr Ivana Majstorović, external collaborator, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy University of Defense, Belgrade
Msc Biol. Marina Bekić, Research Assistant, Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy University in Belgrade, marina.bekicc@gmail.com