Our research is at the interface between inorganic chemistry, biology and medicine;itis focused on the study of the interaction between metal complexes and biologically-relevant macromolecules, in order to develop state-of-the-art of metal-based therapeutic and diagnostic agents. In particular, our experience includes the synthesis of coordination compounds and the use of several spectroscopic techniques to characterize the newly synthesized compounds and study their solution properties and mechanism of action under physiological conditions.
Owing to several well-established national and international collaborations, we aim at pushing our research toward both the biological evaluation of the object complexes and the elucidation of the biochemical processes involved in their activity.
To achieve our goals, we employ a highly interdisciplinary strategy which combines and merges different backgrounds and professional expertise encompassing aspects of chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology and medicine.
The following main research lines are currently being carried out:
- Development of anticancer Au(III)-dithiocarbamato derivatives of oligopeptides as enhanced systems exploiting transporter proteins for intracellular drug transfer and delivery;
- Au(I/III)-, Ru(II/III)-, Cu(II)- and Zn(II)-based chemotherapeutic agents with ligands recognized by receptors overexpressed in tumor cells;
- Functionalization of antibodies with metal complexes for the development of biosensors for clinical applications and early detection of tumor markers in blood and/or urines of tumor-affected patients;
- Development of Cu(I/II)- and Ru(II/III)-based anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammation.
The Bio-Inorganic Chemistry Lab is led by Prof. Dolores Fregona, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padua.