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    An ambitious international project will use light to study and treat tumors, brain lesions and epilepsy, among other pathologies, through the use of photonic technologies in non-invasive interventions. The project, called NanoBright, will create a multidisciplinary team with physicists, nanotechnologists, tumor biologists and neuroscientists experts in neuronal disorders, in which researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the National Oncology Research Center (CNIO) will participate. The project is coordinated by the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy), with the participation of the Pierre et Marie Curie University (France), and is funded with 3.5 million euros for the next four years.

    The project will be carried out by an international consortium that will work on developing nanometric probes capable of generating adjustable light beams and whose physical properties can analyze the chemical and biological state of brain cells. On the other hand, researchers will identify diagnostic and therapeutic methods based on these advanced technologies by developing new biomedical probes.

    The development of the probe will be carried out through the use of metallic structures of nanometric dimensions (known as plasmonic structures), which will act as amplifiers of the light signal. The device will be able to direct the light accurately and generate a physical interaction with the cells to read its properties and thus develop improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of various tumor pathologies.

    Thus, it will be possible to study, for example, the oxidative stress of nerve cells that occurs after traumatic brain injuries or in cases of epilepsy. It will also allow to directly analyze the molecular characteristics of brain tumors, discriminating their type and invasive capacity without the need for biopsies.

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