Henrique Faneca is principal investigator at Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, and invited assistant professor at University of Coimbra. He received is PhD degree in Biochemistry from Coimbra University in 2005. The main focus of his research are the development of lipid- and polymer-based nanosystems for gene and drug delivery into target cells and the generation of new antitumor strategies, involving different gene therapy approaches either per se or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents. Henrique Faneca is author of more than 45 scientific papers corresponding to over 1500 citations and to an h-index of 19.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Combination of different chemotherapeutics drugs may offer advantages for the treatment of HCC. Nanotechnology has made exceptional headway, emerging as a revolutionary platform to treat a wide variety of tumors, mainly due to prolonged drug release, as well as increased cell internalization. In this work, we have developed a drug delivery system, a hybrid nanoparticle formulation, which allows the specific delivery into HCC cells. The hybrid nanoparticle comprises a core of PLGA coated by a lipidic envelope constituted by 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine; cholesterol and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethylene glycol)-2000] (PEG) with a specific ligand (GalNac) covalently attached. The obtained nanosystems were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential analysis and differential scanning calorimetry, showing a mean diameter ( 150 nm) and a surface charge ( -25 mv) suitable for in vivo applications. The hybrid nanoparticle enables the release of two drugs demonstrated through release studies of fluorescent probes and drugs in dialysis. The presence of GalNac (a specific ligand to the asialoglycoprotein receptor that is overexpressed in HCC) allowed the internalization of the nanosystems and the release of the drugs preferentially in HCC cells, as demonstrated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. This new nanosystem represents an added value in the fight against the global scourge of hepatocellular carcinoma.
A-Young Sung has conducted academic research at Harvard University and Oxford University as a visiting professor. She is the vice president of Society for Korea Standards Certification and safety. She has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of Korean Optometry Society.
The development of ophthalmic lens materials has been consistently attempted to reduce these side effects and foreign body sensation. The basic properties that ophthalmic lenses should have are comfortable fit and wettability, which greatly affect the ophthalmic side effects. Ophthalmic lenses can be evaluated based on their basic physical and optical properties, such as their water content, light transmittance, wettability, and oxygen permeability. The roughness of the carbon surface is also known to greatly influence the wettability of the material. The wettability can be improved through various surface treatments. The isocyanate material that was used in this experiment is known to increase the degree of crosslinking and to improve the mechanical properties when it reacts with polyuria; thus, it is widely used as an adhesive, a hardener, and the like. This study aimed to manufacture a high-wettability and high-strength ophthalmic lens by adding HDI and carbon nanoparticles at various ratios into the basic-combination Ref. prepared using HEMA, a base polymer used as a material for hydrophilic ophthalmic lenses; EGDMA, a crosslinking agent; and AIBN, an initiator. And also, the physical properties (i.e., refractive index, water content, contact angle, light transmittance, tensile strength, breaking strength, and absorbance) were measured. When HDI and carbon nanoparticles were added, the water content decreased but the tensile and breaking strengths increased, along with the wettability, according to the carbon nanoparticle addition ratio. In particular, when two additives were used together, the strength increased due to the interaction between the HDI and carbon nanoparticles.