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Combining biophysics and nanotechnology for the applications of blue scintillators in photomedicine

Grant number: 21/12632-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Molecular Biophysics
Principal researcher:Antonio José da Costa Filho
Grantee:Mariana Chaves Micheletto
Supervisor abroad: Alessandro Lauria
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:18/13016-6 - Activation of Photosensitive Proteins with Radioluminescent Nanoparticles and X-Rays, BP.DR

Abstract

The discovery and development of phototoxic proteins able to produce reactive oxygen species allowed the employment of genetically encoded photosensitizers (PS) as light activated devices. Light-induced generation of reactive oxygen species by chromogenic compounds has been used for single molecule inactivation and cell killing. MiniSOG is a small, soluble, flavin-binding protein with high quantum yield for singlet oxygen generation upon exposure to blue light. However, for in vivo applications, optical techniques are limited by the low penetration of UV-visible light into biological tissues. Specially, the UV, violet and deep blue radiations are the ones that human tissue has lower transparency. This limit is exceeded when the activation energy is X-ray. Because most PS have absorption coefficients that are relatively high at visible wavelength but low at X-ray frequencies, the X-ray-induced sensitizers usually comprises a traditional PS and a scintillating nanoparticle (ScNP). Given the multiplicity of blue absorbing PS (including miniSOG) and the constant development of new and more efficient PS, we believe in a crescent demand for new scintillators capable of efficiently emitting in this region. Therefore, this proposal aims to optimize new and exciting hafnium dioxide nanocrystals for efficient emission in the blue region. The complexation between nanomaterials and miniSOG, and subsequent energy transfer studies, will also be performed. (AU)

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