Enrico Mastrobattista

BIO- AND NANOTECHNOLOGY APPROACHES TO DRUG DELIVERY

Prof. dr. Enrico Mastrobattista

In this research program biotechnology is applied to produce lipid and protein-based drug delivery systems at the nano-scale. These bio-inspired drug delivery systems can consist of recombinant (poly)peptides that self-assemble into well-defined supramolecular structures, such as micelles, vesicles, or nanotubes or that can specifically interact with DNA to form condensed nanospheres.  In addition, synthetic biological systems such as artificial microbes and viruses are being developed for vaccination and gene delivery purposes.

Recombinant and Semi-Synthetic Drug Delivery Systems

This sub-project deals with the recombinant production of de novo proteins that can be used as building blocks to construct protein- or semi-synthetic drug delivery systems. Building blocks include amphiphilic peptides that can self-assemble into nanospheres and recombinant protein polymers containing nonnatural amino acids to generate hybrid materials. Application of these bio-inspired drug delivery systems include photodynamic therapy and in situ triggered release systems. 

Artificial Microbes for Vaccination

Using cell-free protein synthesis inside liposomal compartments our aim is to design artificial microbes for vaccination purposes. So far, we have demonstrated that cell-free synthesis of a model antigen from a DNA template inside liposomes results in high serum IgG titers against the in situ produced antigen when liposomes were injected i.m. in mice. We are currently investigating whether such antigen-expressing immunostimulatory liposomes (AnExILs) can also induce cellular immune responses.

Biomimetic Vectors for Gene Delivery

In this sub-project, an attempt is being made to close the gap between viral and synthetic vectors for gene delivery in terms of efficiency and safety by combining synthetic and biological components into a single gene delivery system. Both rational and high-throughput approaches will be followed to optimize and test these biomimetic vectors for their gene transducing capacity in vitro and in vivo. 

Increasing the Cost-Effectiveness of Biopharmaceuticals

Biopharmaceuticals (i.e. protein and nucleic acid-based drugs) are often rather expensive and as a consequence, not all patients in need of these medicines can be treated. To increase the accessibility of this important class of medicines for patients in need we work on methods to either decrease production costs or, by applying drug delivery approaches, to increase the efficacy of existing biopharmaceuticals.

People involved:

  • Jerry Lau, Vaccine Delivery Systems based on Self-Assembling Peptides
  • Charis Rousou, Ultrasound-mediated drug delivery to the retina 
  • Mohammed Aldosari, development of biosimilars and biobetters for lysosomal storage diseases

List of key publications

  1. Oude Blenke, E., van den Dikkenberg, J., van Kolck, B., Kros, A., & Mastrobattista, E. (2016). Coiled coil interactions for the targeting of liposomes for nucleic acid delivery. Nanoscale, 8(16), 8955-8965.
  2. Rad-Malekshahi, M., Visscher, K. M., Rodrigues, J. P., De Vries, R., Hennink, W. E., Baldus, M., ... & Weingarth, M. (2015). The supramolecular organization of a peptide-based nanocarrier at high molecular detail. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137(24), 7775-7784.
  3. Oude Blenke, E., Klaasse, G., Merten, H., Plückthun, A., Mastrobattista, E., & Martin, N. I. (2015). Liposome functionalization with copper-free “click chemistry”. Journal of Controlled Release, 202, 14-20.
  4. Mastrobattista, E. & Hennink, W. E. Polymers for gene delivery: Charged for success. Nature Materials 11, 10–2 (2012).
  5. Mastrobattista, E., Van Der Aa, M. A., Hennink, W. E., & Crommelin, D. J. (2006). Artificial viruses: a nanotechnological approach to gene delivery. Nature reviews Drug discovery, 5(2), 115-121.

News from Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monday 7 January 2019
The European Union has awarded 10 million euro to a consortium in the field of mass spectrometry based proteomics research
Thursday 20 December 2018
“Policies should ensure that medicines are optimally accessible, but sometimes have unwanted side effects”
Marcel Bouvy
Tuesday 18 December 2018
The Franqui Chair is an initiative by the eponymous foundation for promoting the development of education and research in Belgium.
Tuesday 11 December 2018
Crommelin and seven other prominent professors received the honorary doctorate from Béla Merkely, rector of Semmelweis University.
Glycomics
Monday 10 December 2018
Ten chemical steps, instead of 100
Tuesday 6 November 2018
Keynote lectures, poster prize winners and a change of leadership
Friday 2 November 2018
Up for a challenge? Ecotrophelia Competition might be then something for you.
Thursday 1 November 2018
Building bridges to realise biological pharmaceutical therapies
Monday 17 September 2018
The first Seed Money call of the Future Food Hub in 2018 for Education projects is open till November1st.
Monday 10 September 2018
Prof. Bert Leufkens was honoured with the Distinguished Science Award from the International Pharmaceutical Federation
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