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G-quadruplex-based Hydrogel as a Potential Photosensitizer Carrier for Photodynamic Therapy

Grant number: 18/07194-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics
Principal Investigator:Rosangela Itri
Grantee:Juliana Sakamoto Yoneda
Host Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Supramolecular structures constructed by the self-assembly of biomolecules are of special interest in a range of areas, including bio nanotechnology and nanomedicine. The nucleobase guanosine and its derivatives form tetramers linked by Hoogsteen-type hydrogen bonds, in presence of cation as Na+ and K+. These tetramers, called G-quartets stack on top of one another to form elongated structures denominated G-quadruplex. These structures resemble cylinder fibers with well-defined diameter of internal cavity. From the biological point of view many studies have been performed to understand the role of G-quadruplex within the DNA sequence. In the biotechnological field, because G-quadruplex is able to form hydrogels, this material is receiving considerable attention with their potential applications in drug delivery, biosensor and tissue engineering. Because they are form from the self-association of natural molecules they are biodegradable and biocompatible with potential for in vivo applications. If compared with traditional carrier systems, hydrogels find many advantages because of their high viscosity and low fluidity, the bioactive compound can have longer contact time with the tissue, with low diffusion, minimizing possible side effects. In this project, we intend to develop a methodology for the incorporation and release of biomolecules in G-quadruplex hydrogels, in particular photosensitizers for possible applications in photodynamic therapy (PDT). We intend to explore the properties of methylene blue incorporation and retention in G-quadruplex hydrogels in function of the characteristics of the precursor gel, temperature, pH and ionic strength, investigating the properties and applicability of a new biomaterial.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SCANAVACHI, G.; ESPINOSA, Y. R.; YONEDA, J. S.; RIAL, R.; RUSO, J. M.; ITRI, R.. Aggregation features of partially unfolded bovine serum albumin modulated by hydrogenated and fluorinated surfactants: Molecular dynamics insights and experimental approaches. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, v. 572, p. 9-21, . (18/07194-9)
YONEDA, JULIANA S.; DE ARAUJO, DANIELE R.; SELLA, FIORENZA; LIGUORI, GABRIEL R.; LIGUORI, TACIA T. A.; MOREIRA, LUIZ FELIPE P.; SPINOZZI, FRANCESCO; MARIANI, PAOLO; ITRI, ROSANGELA. Self-assembled guanosine-hydrogels for drug-delivery application: Structural and mechanical characterization, methylene blue loading and controlled release. Materials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications, v. 121, . (18/07194-9)
PEPE, ALESSIA; MORETTI, PAOLO; YONEDA, JULIANA S.; CARDUCCI, FEDERICA; ITRI, ROSANGELA; MARIANI, PAOLO. Self-oriented anisotropic structure of G-hydrogels as a delicate balance between attractive and repulsive forces. NANOSCALE, v. N/A, p. 10-pg., . (18/07194-9)

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