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Development of tissue-engineered oral cancer model for application in photodynamic therapy using phenyl-thio-phthalocyanine nanocapsules

Grant number: 23/10385-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 31, 2023
Effective date (End): April 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Technology
Principal Investigator:Fernando Lucas Primo
Grantee:Mariza Aires Fernandes
Supervisor: Helen Elizabeth Colley
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Sheffield, England  
Associated to the scholarship:20/09396-8 - Development and characterization of a 3D model of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma for application in photodynamic therapy using phenyl thio-phthalocyanine nanocapsules, BP.DR


The tumor microenvironment is highly complex, which makes the development of new therapeutic approaches challenging. For the development and study using three-dimensional models (spheroids, organoids and tissue-engineered constructions based on extracellular matrix scaffolds) it is important to understand the methods available for generating them and their response to drugs/photosensitizers in cancer therapy. In this context, tissue engineered models has become indispensable in order to mimic cell behavior with similar complexity to the tumor in vivo. Faced with the need to develop more effective therapies, studies propose Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) as a promising therapeutic modality that uses three essential elements: a photosensitizer (PS), light at a specific wavelength and oxygen, reacting together to produce species reactive oxygen reactions that ultimately cause cell death of target cells and tissues. Thus, this project aims to develop and characterize a tissue-engineered oral cancer model. In the sequence, phenyl-thio-phthalocyanine nanocapsules will be used for the application of PDT in 2D and 3D cultures, to evaluate the viability in 2D and 3D cultures through the resazurin assay. Finally, the labeling of apoptotic and necrotic cells will be performed after treatment with Annexin V and propidium iodide (2D cultures) and immunohistochemical analyses (3D models) to evaluation of the effect of PDT. We hope to obtain a useful biological model for tissue engineering and antitumor therapy as a way of mimicking biological conditions from in vivo assays and helping to understand the biological effects triggered by photodynamic processes. (AU)

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