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Synthetic nanoparticles as an innovative treatment for sepsis (SPRINT-4-SEPSIS)

19th national competition for scientific and technical research

Sepsis: Early Warning, Prevention and Treatment

Senior Researcher : Antonio Artigas Raventos

Research Centre or Institution : Corporación Sanitaria Universitaria Parc Taulí


Sepsis is an infection in conjunction with abnormal intense host response to it; severe cases of sepsis lead to a multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, affecting principally the lungs. Sepsis is a major public health concern; only in Europe it affects for more than 3.4 million individuals each year of whom 700.000 will not survive.

At present there is no a specific treatment for sepsis. A number of therapies blocking inflammatory or antiinflammatory pathways have been essayed without much success. Recently several studies have proposed the use of cell therapies with mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) demonstrating remarkable therapeutic properties in animal models including immune modulation and the release of epithelial and endothelial growth factors among others. Albeit such positive results, MSC transplantation in humans and to clinical practice is very challenging. Notably, MSC release paracrine factors via extracellular vesicles (EVs) that have therapeutic properties similar to the parent stem cells. The administration of synthetic EVs carrying the selected therapeutically compounds could solve the safety concerns raised over cell therapies and will pave the way for a clinical translation of a specific sepsis treatment. SPRINT-4-SEPSIS aims at devising a therapeutic product containing high concentration of EVs active molecules identified in MSC-derived EVs. For that, we will take advantage of nanotechnology to design and produce synthetic nanovesicles carrying relevant proteins and miRNAs that will down-regulate inflammation, will assist the restoration of systemic immune homeostasis and improve the lung injury in a sepsis model.

SPRINT-4-SEPSIS will provide new a therapeutic strategy with beneficial effects on lung function and improving outcomes and mortality in pre-clinical model of sepsis.

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