Doxorubicin (Dox) is one of the most potent anticancer chemotherapeutic drugs used in the treatment of breast cancer (BC), however, its use can lead to many adverse effects, the worse being cardiotoxicity.
It is therefore paramount to design new treatments which can specifically target the cancer cells.

To achieve this we engineered drug carriers, known as nanoparticles, which harbour Dox and are coated with a BC-specific targeting element. These nanoparticles also contain a fluorescent dye, Indocyanine green, that activates under laser irradiation producing heat, causing drug release and inducing cell damage.
This allows us to combine chemotherapy with photothermal therapy. To successfully assess the safety and effectiveness of the combinatory therapy we are using microphysiological in vitro systems.

Giulia Grimaldi
Silvia Scaglione


Dr. Giulia Grimaldi got her PhD in epigenetics from Imperial College London (UK) and then went on to do a first postdoc at the UCL (UK) in regenerative medicine. She was then awarded a Marie Curie fellowship to investigate the role of ADP ribosylation in health and disease at the University of Oslo (Norway). She is continuing this line of research in more physiologocally relevant models in her current post as Assistant Professor in Physiology and metabolic biochemistry at University of Bradford (UK).

Silvia Scaglione is the founder and chief scientist of React4life, author of more than 80 international peer-reviewed papers, and owner of 7 patents. She coordinated a Future Emerging Technology (FET-OPEN) European H2020 project, entitled “Modeling spontaneous Breast cancer metastasis TO the Bone with a first-of-its-kind 3D device that recapitulates physiological tissue-level complexity -B2B”. She’s been nominated as Ambassador of the European Innovation Council (EIC) for her capacity to bring basic research results to the market, generating impact for society. She has also won the innovative start-up award of Gamma Donna 2021.

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