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Alternative functional polymeric materials with potential application to the treatment and proliferation of diseases


The New Corona Virus Pandemic made clear the importance of disease treatment and prevention measures and their impact on the economy. This project intends to study the use of some functional polymeric materials as alternatives that contribute to i) the reduction of the spread of diseases, ii) the treatment of common diseases and iii) the reduction of the environmental impact caused by conventional agricultural pesticides, which can be harmful to humans. For this, the functionalization of polymer chains with active compounds and the encapsulation of active compounds in polymer particles will be performed. In the encapsulation area, both new natural active compounds (curcumin and neem oil, with therapeutic and pesticidal activity, respectively) and new encapsulation techniques (biofabrication of bacterial cellulose capsules) will be explored. For the encapsulation of curcumin and neem oil, PLGA and the commercial polymer Ecovio (Basf) will be used, respectively. In bacterial cellulose capsules, glucose-responsive particles containing insulin will be incorporated as a case study. In the functionalization area, a natural polymer (cassava starch) and a synthetic polymer (polyethyleneimine - PEI) will be quaternized, and then used for the production of blends (with PLA or PDADMAC in the case of starch, and with acrylic dispersion or dispersion of polyurethane in the case of PEI) for the production of single-use films for packaging and biocidal coatings (paints, varnishes and lacquers) respectively, in order to avoid cross contamination. Emphasis will be given to the virucidal capacity of the materials produced (including against the SARS-CoV-2 virus). This project will have the collaboration of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Institute of Biology at Unicamp. (AU)

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