Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Zebrafish Delivery

Is there a sufficiently large market for drug screening and testing in Zebrafish larvae using membrane fusion?

Alexander Kros

Within the ERC Starting Grant “ Direct Drug Delivery”, Dr. Alexander Kros developed a method controlled fusion of liposomes and cells: a new pathway for direct drug delivery.

His method of membrane fusion is inspired by natural occurring SNARE proteins, which control this process in-vivo. A set of complementary peptide amphiphiles were designed and these are able to induce the rapid and efficient fusion between two opposing membranes. In the ERC-project the researchers have shown that our method of fusion can be applied to liposomes and to live cells. Since liposomes can be loaded with drugs, this enables the direct delivery of drugs into live cells.

The group of Dr. Kros has recently found that this method also works in-vivo, which makes surface tagging and fusion applicable to zebrafish larvae. Drug screening and testing in Zebrafish larvae is becoming increasingly more popular as it reduces cost and enables rapid screening, making it easier to find new drugs. In this project, Dr. Kros wants to investigate whether the market for applying tagging and fusion of liposomes with zebrafish larvae enabling rapid in vivo drug screening is sufficiently large to make the commercialization of this method attractive for investors.

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