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Research Unit coordinated by Prof. Sergio Romeo  

Research Associate: Dott. Ivan Bassanini

1) Development of new antimalarial agents

This project is aimed at the design and synthesis of new powerful antimalarial compounds. The study is focused on optimizing a new pharmacophore derived from oxybisbenzoic acid to improve its bioavailability while retaining the antiprotozoal activity. The design is guided by a combination of in silico pharmacophore mapping and phenotypic screening.

Further details: A. Pancotti, S. Parapini, M. Dell’Agli, L. Gambini, C. Galli, E. Sangiovanni, N. Basilico, E. Bosisio, D. Taramelli, S. Romeo, Discovery of oxybisbenzoylamides as a new class of antimalarial agents, Med. Chem. Commun. 6 (2015) 1173–1177.

2) Development of theranostic nanoparticles

This project object is to develop gold nanoparticles for targeting and thermal tumor therapy. Using specific peptides for receptors overexpressed in tumor cells and anchored to gold nanoparticles it was possible to integrate the diagnostic method with a specific therapeutic intervention. This approach was tested using gold nanocages functionalized with peptides derived from neuropeptide Y. The conjugates thus obtained were cytotoxic only for prostate tumor cells after irradiation with laser light pulsed at 808 nm.

theranostic nanoparticles

Further details:

S. Avvakumova, E. Galbiati, L. Sironi, S.A. Locarno, L. Gambini, C. Macchi, L. Pandolfi, M. Ruscica, P. Magni, M. Collini, M. Colombo, F. Corsi, G. Chirico, S. Romeo, D. Prosperi, Theranostic Nanocages for Imaging and Photothermal Therapy of Prostate Cancer Cells by Active Targeting of Neuropeptide-Y Receptor, Bioconjug. Chem. 27 (2016).

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