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Bernal Institute Research Forum

Fri, 09 Jun 2017

Date: Friday, June 9, 2017
Time: 10:30 to 11:30
Duration: One hour
Contact: Joan O'Riordan -
Location: MSG-025 MSSI Building Extension, Ireland

Professor Renata Bilewicz, University of Warsaw, Poland.

Lipidic Cubic Phase Gels and Nanoparticles – Confined Nanoenvironment for Hosting Proteins and Drug Delivery.

Lipidic cubic phase is a bicontinuous mesophase consisting of two sets of noncommunicating but interpenetrating water channels confined in between lipid bilayers. It resembles a molecular sponge allowing it to host significantly larger amounts of enzymes or drugs, compared to other matrices or carriers e.g. liposomes or gold nanoparticles. Holding the drug inside the mesophase gel or cubosome nanoparticle may decrease its toxic effects towards healthy cells while appropriate mechanisms can stimulate the release of the drug from the carrier when it approaches the cancer cell environment. Drug diffusion and kinetics of release from the mesophase depend, among other factors, on the nanostructure and aqueous channel sizes which are defined by the amphiphilic molecules used for the formation of the liquid crystalline phase. The channels diameters’ can be increased by adding increased ration of surfactants to the main lipid forming the mesophase. Interactions between the drug and the cubic phase can be modified by using acidic additives that are incorporated into the cubic phase structure. The electrochemical studies of drug transport and sustained drug release from lyotropic cubic phases and cubosomes are demonstrated. Using chronocoulometry and voltammetry at micro and normal sized electrodes the dependence of diffusion of an electroactive drug on the size of the channels is shown. Profiles of drug release may be influenced by pH, since the liquid crystalline phase may change with pH, or by drug interactions with the lipidic bilayers forming the channel walls in the mesophase.

Renata Bilewicz is a professor in chemistry at Warsaw University since 2002. Her expertise and research interests mainly focus on electrochemistry of lipidic liquid crystals, electron transfer processes in supramolecular and biomolecular systems, self-assembled and Langmuir-Blodgett films, molecular recognition at electrode and bioelectrocatalysis and biofuel cells. Her research is funded by national and European grants. She was a Chair of Bioelectrochemistry Division (Div.2) of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE) (2014-2016). Currently, she is member of ISE Publications Committee and a member of the Scientific Council of Physical Chemistry Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Renata is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications that have been cited over 4,000 times.


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