University of Barcelona, Spain, Spain
In vitro blood-brain barrier model for drug brain permeability testing
Dr. Mònica Mir graduated in chemistry in 1998, and in 2006, she obtained her doctorate in biotechnology. She carried out a postdoctoral at Max Planck Institute. In 2008, she joined the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia as a senior researcher while teaching as an Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona.
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) represent a major threat to the health of the population. Unfortunately, drugs intended to target the central nervous system (CNS) have much higher failure rates than non-CNS drugs. The main reason is the brain protection by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), one of the most extents and restrictive barriers in the body. In recent years, several promising therapies for NDDs were developed. However, in vivo, assays are expensive, time-consuming, and ethically questionable, and species-to-species variations in the expression profiles could lead to the inadequate reproduction of the human pathophysiology, which hinders the progression of these new alternatives. Hence, it became necessary to look for inexpensive and animal-free alternatives. Organ-on-a-chip (OoC) is an emerging alternative due to its versatile design and lower cost, that can use cells from human sources, to mimic in vivo physiological and pathological conditions. Recently, several devices have been developed to mimic biological barriers in the brain for the study of drug permeability. In addition, detection platforms such as electrodes can be included in OoC to monitor features as the proper development of the BBB. In this work, we present the development of a BBB-oC model with monitoring integrated into a co-culture of human endothelial cells in close interaction with human astrocytes and pericytes cells. The BBB-oC cells were characterized by optical images and live/dead assays. The proper BBB development also was evaluated by immunofluorescence of tight junction proteins (ZO-1 and cadherins) and with sensors. Finally, BBB performance was assayed with nanoparticles functionalized with peptides for amyloid disaggregation
Paulo César De Morais
University of Brasília, Brazil, Brazil
Mathematical modeling nanocargo biodistribution in solid tumors: The core-shell approach
Professor Paulo César De Morais, Ph.D., was full Professor of Physics at the University of Brasilia (UnB) – Brazil up to 2013, Appointed as: UnB’s Emeritus Professor (2014); Visiting Professor at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) – China (2012-2015); Distinguished Professor at the Anhui University (AHU) – China (2016-2019); Full Professor at Catholic University of Brasília (CUB) – Brazil (2018); CNPq-1A Research Fellow since 2010; 2007 Master Research Prize from UnB. He held a two-year (1987-1988) post-doc position with Bell Communications Research, New Jersey – USA, and received his Doctoral degree in Solid State Physics (1986) from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) – Brazil. With more than 12,000 citations, he has published about 500 papers (Web of Science) and more than 15 patents.
This talk will address the heterogeneous solid tumor tissue organization and examine how this condition can interfere with the passive delivery of nano cargo in breast cancer preclinical models. In vivo, image techniques were used to follow the nano cargo biodistribution. It will be assumed that the tumor vascular organization depends upon the subtumoral localization and this heterogeneous organization promotes a nanocargo biodistribution preference toward the highly vascular peripherical region, in contrast to the inhibited vascular architecture in the tumor core region. Using imaging techniques, the assessed nano cargo biodistribution is successfully described under a comprehensive mathematical model. The proposed mathematical model was used to describe the differential biodistribution for two different breast cancer models. The mathematical approach herein described can be easily extended to describe different types of solid tumors in animal models.
Sharif University of Technology, Iran, Iran
Enhancement of Photocatalytic Capability of g-C3N4 by Heterojunction Creation Aiming H2 Evolution via Water Splitting
Fatemeh Sousani joined the Sharif University of Technology as a doctoral student in the Department of material science and Engineering. The subject of her doctoral thesis is entitled “the performance improvement of H2 Production via water splitting with NixCo1-x/ZnxCd1?xS/g-C3N4 nanohybrid photocatalysts”. The supervisors are Dr. Sayed Khatiboleslam Sadrnezhaad and Dr. Parvin Abachi. They work as a team in this field. She received her master’s degree in 2017. She worked on the design of the germanium–carbon antireflection coatings. She had also a research project to investigate the thermal stability properties of germanium-carbon coatings. The results of her master’s works are published in reputable ISI journals and can be searched.
This study aims to improve the visible light H2 evolution photocatalytic performance of graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) by developing a ternary nano-photocatalyst consisting of NixCo1-x, ZnxCd1-xS (ZCS) and g-C3N4 (CN). We started investigating g-C3N4 and found it had low photocatalytic efficiency for H2 production. Concerned about the limitations, we introduced material Ni0.8Co0.2/Zn0.8Cd0.2S (ZCS) and achieved the desired final compound. Ni0.8Co0.2/Zn0.8Cd0.2S/g-C3N4 is synthesized through a straightforward combination of chemical reduction and hydrothermal techniques. The nano-photocatalyst's morphology, structural features, and photocatalytic properties are assessed using various characterization methods, including field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and photoluminescence (PL). The photocatalytic water splitting experiments were conducted under an LED lamp (100 W, 400 nm to 700 nm) irradiation for 4 hrs, respectively. Based on the test results, the H2 evolution rate of Ni0.8Co0.2/Zn0.8Cd0.2S/g-C3N4 reached 1980 ?mol/g.h, which is 1980 times higher that of pristine g-C3N4. Moreover, the H2 evolution rate of Ni0.8Co0.2/Zn0.8Cd0.2S/g-C3N4 during the 16 hrs cycle experiment did not significantly decrease, suggesting that Ni0.8Co0.2/Zn0.8Cd0.2S/g-C3N4 nano-photocatalyst exhibited durability. Accordingly, this ternary nano-photocatalyst possesses the ability to function as a promising photocatalytic substance for the production of H2 under visible light. This study provides recommendations for the creation of innovative heterojunction catalysts that exhibit exceptional efficacy and sustainability.
Panjab University, India, India
Evaluation of Tetrahydrocurcumin-Loaded Lipidic Nanoparticles Incorporated within Tacrolimus Ointment: In Vitro and In Vivo Assessment.
Dr Vandita Kakkar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and has a research experience of more than 11 years. Her area of research lies in the bioavailability enhancement of phytopharmaceuticals using nanoparticle technology via oral and topical routes; Scaling up of the nanoparticle production from lab scale to pilot stage; Combating antimicrobial resistance & developing targeted delivery systems for cancer treatment. She has to her credit >45 international/national research papers and review articles with h-index 19 and 2573 citations; 12 book chapters in international books; 32 magazine articles in ingredient south Asia and PharmaBiz and 5 national patent applications. She has been awarded around 10 million Research grants from UGC, Panjab University, BIRAC, DST, ICMR and Commonwealth Commission (UK). She has transferred the technology to Hi-Tech formulation and is consulting a project of Cedrous Bio-product. She has industrial experience of 2 years. She has to her credit several awards and accreditations
Preclinical safety and proof of concept studies for a topical ointment comprising concentrated tetrahydro curcumin-loaded lipidic nanoparticles (THC-LNs) and tacrolimus ointment (TTO) are proposed in the present investigation. The skin irritation potential and acute dermal toxicity were performed in rats in compliance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines (402, 404, and 410) while the cytotoxic potential was performed in HaCaT cells. Finally, in vivo evaluation was performed in the Imiquimod mice model of psoriasis. In primary skin irritation assessment, TTO formulation, marketed formulation (Tacroz® Forte), THC-LNs, and blank LNs were topically applied on intact skin sites in rats while another group served as a negative control group for 72 h. TTO did not induce any adverse reactions. Repeated 28 days of dermal toxicity followed by biochemical and histopathological assessment showed negligible alternations and skin lesions. THC-LNs revealed negligible cytotoxic potential in HaCaT cells. In vivo pharmacodynamic study performed on mice using Imiquimod induced psoriasis model showed significantly high anti-psoriatic activity of TTO in comparison to marketed ointment. This was confirmed by evaluating the change in body weight, ear thickness and erythema, scaling, splenomegaly, Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scoring, and histopathological investigation. Based on these findings, it can be ascertained that TTO showed minimal toxicity and has ample potential for further clinical analysis. Results represent an efficient and commercially viable alternative for psoriasis treatment with satisfactory potential. The combination of THC and tacrolimus had antioxidant effects and the findings for this study can be further explored extensively to determine the mechanism of synergism of THC-LNs and tacrolimus for psoriasis.