João Conde

Nature Communications Biology (2020)

João Conde began his independent career at NOVA Medical School of Universidade Nova de Lisboa in the beginning of 2020. In this short Q&A he tells us about his experience as an early career researcher, challenges he faced with science under lockdown, the advice he has for his younger self and what is the most likely science fiction vision we can achieve with nanotechnology.

M. Pereira-Silva, A.C. Santos, João Conde, C. Hoskins, A. Concheiro, C. Alvarez-Lorenzo, F. Veiga

Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery (2020)

Cancer ranks among the most common and dreadful non-communicable diseases, associated with significant burden and clinical challenge. Cancer management has substantially improved on account of the major advancements on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics which resulted in extended survival rates and decreased mortality worldwide. Chemotherapy, along with radiotherapy and surgery, represents one of the major therapeutic arsenals for effective cancer cells eradication, evidencing several shortcomings such as low cancer tissue biodistribution, accelerated drug degradation and clearance, insufficient cancer targetability and associated systemic toxicity, which overall compromise its efficacy and safety.

S. Talebian and João Conde*

Matter (2020)

On the 30th of January of 2020, the WHO Director-General declared the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak a pandemic and a public health emergency of international concern. On this same day the world changed unimaginably. This new and natural virus – SARS-CoV-2 – is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans and cause severe acute respiratory syndrome. When this coronavirus pandemic broke out it transformed the mode we live and perceive the world, changing the way we interact with social distancing encouraged to stop the spread of the 2019-nCoV. From blank canals in Venice to empty streets in Paris, this new coronavirus changed life, every day, for all of us around the world. Although preventing and treating COVID-19 has a lot of puts and takes, NANOtechnology is around the corner to do so. Here we highlighted the latest developments in how the NANO world is taking root against this unprecedented fight and could help us get closer to a treatment for COVID-19.

S. Talebian, G.G. Wallace, A. Schroeder*, F. Stellacci* and João Conde*

Nature Nanotechnology (2020) COVID-19 Special Issue

Nanotechnology-based antimicrobial and antiviral formulations can prevent SARS-CoV-2 viral dissemination, and highly sensitive biosensors and detection platforms may contribute to the detection and diagnosis of COVID-19.

H. Li, João Conde, A. Guerreiro, G.J.L. Bernardes

Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2020) Featured on COVER

The key for improved molecular imaging and therapy is to achieve selective accumulation of the diagnostic probe or therapeutic agent at the site of interest. One of the approaches is the on-demand activation. In this context, the potency of the drug/probe is largely attenuated and upon chemical reaction or enzymatic interaction, the drug/probe will be converted to its active form at the desired site of action whilst sparing healthy tissue of adverse off-target side effect. This approach allows a precise control of the drug/probe activity and has been employed in the course of pre-targeted strategies for imaging and therapy. Bioorthogonal chemistry has become a powerful tool for on-demand activation. Notably, the inverse-electron demand Diels–Alder (IEDDA) reaction between tetrazine and trans-cyclooctene (TCO) has demonstrated its enormous potential in in vivo bioconjugation, capitalizing on the fast reactivity even at low concentrations in complex biological context and the inertness to biological functionalities. Furthermore, a ‘click-to-release’ bioorthogonal cleavage reaction that enables instantaneous release of a substance from trans-cyclooctene following tetrazine ligation was reported and has proven its great potential for prodrug activation.

R. Prasad, N.K. Jain, João Conde*, R. Srivastava*

Materials Today Advances (2020)

Since decades, conventional diagnosis and treatment strategies for cancer have attracted major attention despite of their expensive and time-consuming process. Moreover, conventional contrast and therapeutic agents have been suffering with various side-effects such as low radiodensity and image resolution, rapid clearance, nonspecific bio-distribution, poor tumor accumulation, heavy and multiple dose requirements, nephrotoxicity, uncontrolled exposure of high electromagnetic radiations, whole body scans etc. On the other hand, high electromagnetic radiation exposure may cause inflammation, body rashes and mutation in healthy cells leading to other diseases. Although, the technical modalities are growing fast, the progress of new cancer medicines is slow. Therefore, nanosized theranostics are gaining momentum as a concept for localized imaging and solid tumor ablation. Interestingly, nanotheranostic probes have been already recognized as clinical “weapon” for localized cancer nanomedicine. So far, numerous functional nanohybrids have been applied for targeted imaging and stimuli active therapies. Hence, nanosized diagnostics and therapeutics systems have been recognised as potential probes for combination therapies, image guided tumor regression, deep tissue visualization, localized diagnosis and tumor ablation, manipulating tumor microenvironment etc. Integration of nanodiagnostics and therapeutics within a single system represents a major achievement in cancer nanomedicine. Overall, localized and stimuli active nanosized theranostic platforms have proved its superiority over conventional therapies. This article will introduce and highlights the recent advancements of localized nanotheranostic approaches and new developments in cancer nanomedicine.

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© 2020 by João Conde


European Research Council ERC