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Multifunctional fluorescence quantum dots as amplifiers for 1O2 generation and synergistic enhanced photodynamic therapy

Grant number: 21/00356-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry
Principal researcher:Paolo Di Mascio
Grantee:Zahid Ullah Khan
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The development of multifunctional nanoplatform with integrated diagnostics and simultaneous local therapy, while evading the off-site problems, is highly desired for precise treatment. Singlet oxygen (1O2) is a highly reactive species used by the biological system as a defensive tool against obnoxious agents and Cancer therapy due to its ready interaction with unsaturated lipids, proteins, and DNA/RNA. Therefore, this study has a principal objective of QDs-assisted amplification of 1O2 to induce the maximum cellular lethality and concurrently using for synergistic photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT consumes an excessive amount of oxygen; thus, hypoxia is induced, limiting the treatment's efficiency. Therefore, we also aim to relieve the hypoxic condition by decomposing the H2O2, excessively produced in the acidic tumor microenvironments, into O2 and ROS via Haber-Weiss/Fenton reaction. The photoluminescence properties of QDs will enable the nanoplatform for biomonitoring and bioimaging in vitro and in vivo. The core QDs will act as an energy donor via FRET activating the photosensitizer (PS) and producing 1O2, and the shell QDs will be used for the catalytic decomposition of H2O2 into O2 and ROS. The QDs will selectively target endosome/lysosome, as we have previously studied that QDs are endocytosed and compartmentalized into endosome/lysosome by cells. In summary, the multifunctional and novel nanoformulation will be useful to enhance the organic PS solubility, 1O2 generation efficiency and concurrently used for bioimaging and catalytic decomposition of H2O2, thus improving the PDT therapy. All the instruments need for analyses are available in IQ-USP, encompassing XRD, TEM, FTRI, DLS, spectrophotometer, Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope (CLSM), and CytoViva enhanced dark-field and dual-mode fluorescence microscope, etc. The research group also has vast experience in 1O2 generation and the analyses of the induced damage. The multifunctional fluorescence core-shell QDs will be prepared and linked to an organic photosensitizer. (AU)

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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)
KHAN, ZAHID ULLAH; UCHIYAMA, MAYARA KLIMUK; KHAN, LATIF ULLAH; ARAKI, KOITI; GOTO, HIRO; FRANCA CUNHA FELINTO, MARIA CLAUDIA; DE SOUZA, ANA OLIVIA; DE BRITO, HERMI FELINTO; GIDLUND, MAGNUS. Wide visible-range activatable fluorescence ZnSe:Eu3+/Mn2+@ZnS quantum dots: local atomic structure order and application as a nanoprobe for bioimaging. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY B, . (21/00356-6)

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