Sylvie Bégin-Colin, ECPM - Université de Strasbourg, France

Sylvie-Begin-ColinSylvie Bégin-Colin completed her PhD degree in Material Chemistry at University of Nancy (France) in 1992. She has then integrated the CNRS as Researcher at the Laboratory of Science and Engineering of Material and of Metallurgy at the Mining Engineering School of Nancy and she has developed researchs on physico-chemical modifications induced by ball-milling in oxides. Then Sylvie Bégin was appointed Professor in September 2003 at the European Engineering School in Chemistry, Material and Polymer (ECPM) of the University of Strasbourg and is currently Director of ECPM. She is also involved in the Research Commission of the University of Strasbourg since 2013.

She has developed a new research activity at the Institute of Physic and Chemistry of Materials (IPCMS) of Strasbourg on the synthesis, functionalization and organisation of oxide nanoparticles for biomedical, energy and spintronic applications and is head of the team “functionalized nanoparticles”. One great part of her research activity is devoted to the design of oxide nanoparticles as these nano-objects are highly sought after for their applications in the biomedical field and are also considered as the building blocks of the future nanotechnological devices in fields of spintronic or energy. Most of these studies are made in collaboration with organic chemists, biologists and physicists. Sylvie Bégin has obtained AOARD, ANR, INCA, Labex, MICA, ARC, Alsace contre le Cancer grants and has participated and participates as partner to different European programs. Her work has been rewarded by the “Jean-Rist” price of the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials and Scientific Excellence Award. She is holder of 147 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 2 patents and 48 invited conferences.

Keynote : Engineering of magnetic-based nanoplatforms for theranostic

In nanomedicine, the goal is to develop multimodal nanoparticles (NPs) to speed up targeted diagnosis, to increase its sensitivity, reliability and specificity for a better management of the disease (patient’s care) and to treat the disease in a specific personalized manner in feedback mode. Combination of therapies to target individual cancer-specific vulnerabilities is a way to increase the efficacy of anticancer treatment. Therefore, besides precision diagnosis, challenges for personalized nanomedicine are to develop multifunctional theranostic nanoplatforms to be able to target specifically tumoral cells, to test quickly different treatments and to follow-up the effect(s) of the treatments by imaging. The selective accumulation of NPs in diseased organs to enable precise diagnosis and targeted therapy remains also an important issue. Most of developed NPs accumulate, after intravenous injection, in eliminatory organs and only low amounts are seen accumulating in tumours. For a precise treatment, active targeting with affinity ligands to achieve tumor specificity is crucial.

Among NPs developed for nanomedicine, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are promising as they may be designed to display multimodal therapy. Indeed, besides being excellent T2 contrast agents for MRI, IONPs are promising as therapeutic agents by magnetic hyperthermia when correctly designed. To be a good heating agent, IONPs have to display a high magneto-cristalline anisotropy and ways to increase it are to tune the NPs size and shape. IONPs have also an interest for photothermal treatment as they express a good photothermal response to laser irradiation.

In that context, we have developed IONPs coated with an original dendron molecule which have been demonstrated in several in vitro and in vivo studies to display antifouling properties (no strong RES accumulation). With their favourable biodistribution and bioelimination profile, dendronized NPs (DNPs) are very well adapted for investigating affinity targeting. First targeting experiments have demonstrated that, after intravenous injection in melanoma mice model, DNPs coupled with a melanin targeting ligand were specifically uptaken by melanoma tumor cells with very favorable biodistribution and biokinetic properties (no unspecific macrophage uptake and fast elimination in few hours of the untargeted DNPs). Recently, we have studied the targeting of head and neck cancer cells by coupling selected targeting ligands on DNPs’ surface and demonstrated the strong specificity of GE11-like peptide for internalizing high amount of DNPs. The coupling method of targeting ligands and their grafting yield were important issues to face.

Then, IONPs with different sizes and shapes have been designed by using the thermal decomposition synthesis method to evaluate their potential to combine different therapeutic modes. The influence of the iron precursors, the reaction temperature, the heating rate and the surfactant’s nature on the NPs’ size and shape was clarified. Synthesis mechanisms were also elucidated by in situ analysis of the nucleation and growth steps. In this way, reproducible NPs with different shapes (octopods, plates, cubes and spheres) and with mean sizes in the range 5-20 nm were thus synthesized and coated with dendron molecules. NPs’ magnetic properties as well as their MRI properties were determined and the effect of the NPs size and shape on magnetic hyperthermia and photothermia has been investigated allowing to establish the optimal NPs design to combine therapies.

The rational design of IONPs as contrast agents for MRI and heating agent and the implementation of targeting strategies are of key importance to face the actual needs on the development of better performing nanoplatforms for nanomedecine.Such smart approach, when translated to clinical uses, would have a great impact on the cancer management to improve patient survival and quality of life.

Updated on October 8, 2021