Nanoparticles have attracted significant research attention due to their potential applications in nano medicine.  They possess a number of unique properties which make them attractive materials both for targeted therapy, as well as the basis of diagnostic biosensor devices.  

Project goal

The NanoCarb project aims to develop nanoparticles coated with glycans, using innovative synthetic approaches. 
These polysaccharide coatings promise to bring enhanced therapeutic properties and sensing capabilities for healthcare applications. 
The NanoCarb ITN aims to train a new generation of creative and innovative multidisciplinary early-stage researchers in the fields of nanotechnology and carbohydrate  chemistry through an integrated research training programme in academia, industry and research centre environments.



VITO is working on the development of a biosensor platform based on the plasmonic properties of gold nanorods. 
These materials exhibit a localized surface plasmon resonance phenomenon, which means that binding of biological material to the surface of the nanorod leads to an easily-measured change in their optical absorption spectrum.  
By coating the nanorods with tailored glycan coatings, we aim to produce nanorods with affinity towards specific lectins – i.e. glycan-binding proteins – which are associated with ischemic stroke. 
The technology could form the basis of an affordable and convenient in-vitro diagnostic test. 
Besides R&D activities, VITO will host early-stage researchers from 3 partner organizations for secondments on in vitro efficacy and biocompatibility studies of glycan-conjugated nanoparticles.


NanoCarb website



European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 
Grant agreement n° 814236
October 2018 – September 2022

Project partners