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The study of the interaction of amphiphilic ionic liquids with model membranes: a structural and spectroscopic approach

Grant number: 18/04796-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Molecular Biophysics
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Leandro Ramos Souza Barbosa
Grantee:Natália Fernandes de Oliveira
Home Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/08832-1 - Localizing cationic ionic liquids in biomimetic membranes models: a small-angle X-ray scattering approach, BE.EP.MS


Ionic Liquids (LIs) are salts composed of an organic ion and an inorganic counter ion, which is found in the liquid state at temperatures 100oC. It has both academic and industrial interest due to its potential applications in several areas, including the green chemistry. Nowadays, ILs have also been included in pharmacology, bio-medicine and bio-nanotechnology. Nevertheless, recent results show that the toxicity of ILs is greater than previously believed, particularly with systems of biological relevance. Therefore, several physico-chemical studies of its interactions with biomimetic membrane systems were carried out in order to identify the molecular mechanisms behind its toxicity. The main goal of this project is to get more information on the interaction of some ionic liquids with biomimetic systems of membrane. To do so, we will use different lipids (such as: Palmitoylphosphatidylcholine, POPC, Palmitoylphosphatidylglycerol, POPG, cholesterol and sphingomyelin), for the composition of large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs), in order to analyze the influence of different concentrations of LIs on their structural properties. This influence will be studied by means of some biophysical techniques already used in our research group, such as small angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), fluorescent probe leakage, cryo-Electron Microscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and zeta-potential. We do believe that the complete characterization of Ionic Liquids with model membranes can elucidade the physico-chemical mechanism of IL toxicity on cells. (AU)