The project here described aims the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) covered by a shell of mesoporous silica (SM) functionalized with mercapto, glycidyl, isocyanate, amino or phenyl ethyl. Considering that AgNPs are effective antimicrobial agents, the objective of this study is obtaining a system with virucidal activity. The modification of the surface chemistry of AgNPs-SM with the above mentioned functional groups aims at finding a system in which the strong interaction with the virus enables the therapeutic effect of the system under study. During the synthesis process, structures obtained will be characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). For determining size and organization of pores in SM, N2 adsorption/desorption curves will be obtained. The degree of nanoparticles functionalization will be determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and by zeta potential analysis. AgNPs-SM antimicrobial activity will be studied and the presence of each functional group will be correlated to the virucidal efficiency of the system against baculovirus and, in a second stage, against lentivirus. Evaluation of the AgNPs-SM cytotoxicity against mammalian cells will take place in parallel to the above described research to make possible their use in biological systems.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: