Project Overview

Next-generation theranostics of brain pathologies with autonomous externally controllable nanonetworks: a transdisciplinary approach with bio-nanodevice interfaces. Five vibrant academic centers and one blooming SME from across Europe have joined forces with a leading Japan-based University in order to develop a vanguard and comprehensive theranostic (therapeutic + diagnostic) solution for brain malignancies by bridging life sciences, bio–nanotechnology, engineering and information communication technologies (ICT). Currently, highly complex malignancies such as brain tumors, have a very grim prognosis, despite recent progress in their treatment and management.

GLADIATOR envisions to establish a radical long-term vision leading to a drastic change in cancer monitoring and therapy. It will usher a paradigm shift in Oncology, with the introduction of “bio-nano-machine diagnostics”, and stimulate the implementation of the “Internet of Nano-bio-things”, leading to technological and clinical developments with high socioeconomic impact. Specifically, GLADIATOR will provide, for the first time, a working prototype of a complete, autonomous and clinically applicable, nanonetwork-based, theranostic system based on the conceptual framework of Externally Controllable Molecular Communications (ECMC).

Molecular Communications is the emerging discipline of exploring the transmission of encoded messages via molecular channels in solutions, cells or entire living organisms. Such systems can even form networks of bio-nano-machines which, when externally controlled, can be interrogated to extract information on the status of the cancer but also manipulated to affect its progression. It is expected that the project’s results will substantially improve patient prognosis and prolong survival by minimizing recurrences and reducing drug toxicity. Improved health, extended life expectancy and productivity, reduced sick-leaves, shorter hospitalisations, reduced return visits, less personnel and caregiver involvement will also have a positive effect on the already overstrained Health Care Systems. Moreover, the innovative biological and nanotechnology-based innovations, development methods, computational and analytical tools advanced through GLADIATOR, are expected to have significant economic impact since they can enter into significant market segments as indicated by global market projections and underlying drivers.


To Treat and Diagnose Glioblastoma Multiform Tumors via Externally Autonomous Controllable Devices.


Frances Cleary



European Union’s Horizon2020 programme under Grant Agreement No. 828837