Ana Pires, Ms.

RABBIT PhD student (PD/BD/106036/2015)

" Liposomes encapsulating catechins: a way to cancer therapy" (2015-2019)

Each year, millions of cancer cases are diagnosed across the world, affecting emotionally and economically the society. Researchers have been exploring the impact of the dietary in terms of cancer prevention and progression, in way to find new ways to attack this disease. Literature has pointing out the catechins, plant-derived polyphenols, as an effective biological weapon against cancer due to their dual nature, since they act as antioxidants and pro-oxidants. However, catechins have a low oral bioavailability and chemical instability which are some of the issues that must be addressed in order to increase their therapeutic effect. This work intends to develop new formulations of liposomes encapsulating catechins sensitive to external factors (pH, radiation, magnetic field) able to cross the intracellular membranes to directly deliver a high concentration of catechins into cancer cell preventing their proliferation through both regulation of intracellular pathways as by photosensitizing them to radiation.
For this purpose it is intended to:
a) Preparation and characterization of drop cast films of EGCG and layer-by-layer (LBL) films of EGCG and DNA exposed to the ultra-violet radiation;
b) Study the encapsulation and release of catechins from liposomes DPPG: Analysis of the morphology, size and encapsulation efficiency. UV- Irradiation of catechins-encapsulated in liposomes.
c) Immobilization studies of catechins-encapsulated liposomes in graphene oxide sheets or in magnetic nanoparticles monitored in real time by the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). Desorption studies. Size and morphology characterization
d) Preform in vitro and in vivo experiments
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af.pires@campus.fct.unl.pt