Lithium filled nanocapsules for cancer treatment

  • Alfonso from ICMAB-CSIC
  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

CSIC through the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona ICMAB has developed new carbon nanocapsules filled with enriched lithium compounds. These nanocapsules can be applied in Neutron Capture Therapy (NCT) for cancer treatment.


Details of the Technology Offer

NCT is a high linear energy transfer form of radiotherapy that exploits the potential of some specific isotopes that capture neutrons and emit short range particles. The high linear energy (LET) particles are suitable for cancer cell eradication with high precision. Boron-10 (10B) is the mostly used element in NCT. However, critical issues such as biodistribution and low tumor delivery have limited the efficiency of the available molecular systems.

We present and innovative approach, with carbon nanocapsules filled with enriched lithium (6Li). The encapsulation of 6Li avoids its interaction with the biological milieu and allows the delivery of a high density of the active isotope to the targeted site. The surface of the nanocarrier has been modified for improved biocompatibility.

Neutron irradiation of 6Li produce nuclear products with high therapeutic potential, which can significantly improve the efficiency of NCT in the eradication of cancer cells compared with the current state-of-the-art.

Current development status

Experimental technologies


Cancer therapy

Desired business relationship

Patent licensing

Technology development

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :P202230271

Related Keywords

  • Medical Health related
  • Therapeutic
  • Drug delivery and other equipment (including kidney dialysis machines)
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical instruments


The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona​ (ICMAB) is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence research center which beongs to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and is governed by a Foundation board.

The Institute was set up in 1987 and subsequently, in April 1991, the laboratories were opened at the Campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). It is part of the Barcelona Nanotechnology Cluster in Bellaterra.

The aim of the institute is to carry out research aimed at obtaining and characterising materials of industrial interest. Its activities are based on the synthesis, preparation, crystallization and characterisation of functional high-performance materials and nanomaterials, which in some cases have led to the construction of device prototypes based on these materials.

Studies and improvements both of conventional materials, as well as new molecular, supramolecular, magnetic, superconducting and porous materials etc. are being developed through projects and research contracts. There are currently 9 ERC funded projects at ICMAB.

To develop these activities, at present there are 57 permanent staff among researchers and back up personnel together with 80 non-permanent staff divided into eight researgh groups, one general unit service, and one unit of Scientific and Technological Services.

In 2016 the ICMAB reached the 100.000 citations, and it is currently the first centre, among the CSIC centres, in the Nature Index. Each permanent researcher publishes close to 5 articles per year in Journals with a very high impact factor.

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