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Development of photosensitizer nanoparticles of diamonds and porphyrins

Grant number: 21/04838-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Dayane Batista Tada
Grantee:Rafaela Campos Queiroz
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia (ICT). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São José dos Campos. São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


Photodynamic therapy has been proved to be a very efficient alternative therapy for the treatment of Cancer and infections, mainly due to its low incidence of damage to non-tumoral cells. Photodynamic therapy depends on three components to occur: light, oxygen and a photosensitizing molecule. This is because the light excites the photosensitizer, promoting its energy transfer to oxygen, consequently generating reactive oxygen species and triggering the cell death of the target tissue. One of the classes of photosensitizing molecules that are extremely promising in photodynamic therapy are porphyrins, which have their diverse functionalities in nature and low toxicity. However, porphyrins can be better explored in this area when conjugated to nanoparticles, which can act as carriers, protecting molecules from interference in the environment, delivering porphyrins exclusively to target tissues, also improving biodistribution and cell uptake. Diamond nanoparticles stand out in this field, mainly due to their high biocompatibility and chemical stability. Therefore, diamond nanoparticles conjugated to porphyrins have physico-chemical characteristics that lead them to be considered promising as photosensitizing nanoparticles. For this reason, the objective of the present research project is to develop a photosensitizer system using porphyrins conjugated to nanodiamonds to study the effects of photodynamic therapy against tumor cells. (AU)

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