CEA-Leti Annual Review: Applying nanotech to medicine

by Hughes Metras, U.S. development, Leti

June 28, 2011 - In his presentation at Leti’s 13th Annual Review, Dr. Francois Berger, director of Clinatec, noted the tremendous opportunities in applying micro- and nanotechnologies to brain-related diseases and disabilities.

Clinatec is a new joint initiative between Grenoble University Hospital and Leti. Scheduled to open this year on the MINATEC campus, it will propose new diagnosis and treatment solutions based on innovation in nanoscience and miniaturization technologies. These innovative solutions will be validated in pre-clinical and clinical studies in Clinatec’s unique environment that brings together physicians, biologists and technologists.

Clinatec builds on the work of Professor Alim Louis Benabid, the French surgeon who pioneered deep brain-stimulation techniques. Among its benefits is providing an alternative to drug therapies, including localized and targeted delivery, which decreases drug costs and minimizes side effects. For example, functionalized nanoparticles capturing biomarkers and nanostructured biopsy tools will allow minimally invasive diagnosis, while providing more information about the disability or disease. Up to 25% of people worldwide with health problems have brain-related pathologies, according to Berger.

This field is a high-growth market that offers new hope to patients, Berger noted. He said Clinatec’s research will also address a variety of medical specializations beyond brain pathology.

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