The overall aim of this Research and Innovation Action is to provide proof-of-principle for this new technology, that is, to show the generation of fluorescence and reactive oxygen species from photosensitive drugs after their interaction with neutrons instead of light. In addition, the project aims to validate the application of the new technology in the eradication of tumour cells and neoplastic tissues. Our specific objectives are outlined below:
- To synthesise a library of novel organometallic photosensitisers (porphyrines, chlorins, phthalocyanines and texaphyrins) with Gd and/or Cd cores, custom-made for use with our technology (Work Package/WP1).
- To perform photochemical and photobiological studies and theoretical calculations in order to fine-tune and select the photosensitisers for optimal function as part of the FRINGE technology (WP2).
- To theoretically calculate and optimise the set up for experiments at the JEEP II nuclear reactor (IFE) and at the TANDEM accelerator (NCSRD) in order to cover a wide spectrum of neutron energies (WP3).
- To implement the experimental set-ups at the two abovementioned neutron beam facilities and perform the initial proof-of-concept experiments in solutions and anthropomorphic phantoms (WP4).
- To validate the FRINGE technology in cell cultures (both monolayers and 3D spheroids) and biological measurements of neutron-generated fluorescence and reactive oxygen species (WP5).
- To pave the way for future exploitation of results through target group specific dissemination, IP management and a roadmap for exploitation (WP6).
- To follow an innovation management process with a rigorous risk management to guide the multi-disciplinary and highly innovative research in a truly high-risk–high-gain FET project (WP7).