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Delivery and Antiparasitic Antimonial Therapy Using Biomaterial Nanoparticles: Nano Seminar Series
December 4, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Prof. Timothy Johnstone, UC Santa Cruz, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Zoom link: https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/92956226569
Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease that is endemic to 98 countries and claims tens of thousands of lives each year.
Of the handful of drugs available to treat infection with Leishmania spp., two contain the main-group element antimony: meglumine antimoniate and sodium stibogluconate. These pentavalent antimonials, so called because they contain antimony in the 5+ oxidation state, are effective but their side effects take a significant toll on patients. Many characteristics of leishmaniasis and pentavalent antimonial therapy are amenable to improvement through nanoparticle drug delivery.
We are targeting nanoparticles in which the carrier ligands for the metalloid are grafted on the biopolymer chitosan, which can then be formulated into nanoparticles through ionic gelation. This design is complicated by the fact that, although in use for over 50 years and administered to hundreds of thousands of patients each year, the molecular structures of the pentavalent antimonials remain unknown.
I will present my group’s early work towards uncovering the structures of these drugs and incorporating that information into the design of biomaterial-based nanoparticles capable of delivering antileishmanial therapy in a controlled fashion.