Olon and the SupraBioNanoLab launch a research project on polymorphism

Olon Group and SupraBioNanoLab (Politecnico di Milano, Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”) jointly announce an innovative public-private partnership agreement for a research project on the advanced study of polymorphism and the characterization of the solid state of the molecules of active ingredients.

This strongly internationally oriented, three-year project involves a PhD program dedicated to the development of new knowledge on the polymorphism of active ingredients and to the advancement of methods for characterizing the solid state of their molecules. 

The PhD will be undertaken by the researcher Ajay Suresh, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India, who will spend the next few years in Italy working on the project and collaborating in synergy with Olon and the Department of Chemistry at the Politecnico di Milano, under the coordination of Professor Pierangelo Metrangolo, ‘Giulio Natta’ Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering and President of the Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC Div. I). 

The strong innovative scope of the project also lies in the model of integration between the Politecnico, the home of academic excellence in terms of knowledge and facilities in the field of crystal chemistry and engineering, and Olon. “The collaboration and exchange of knowledge between two of the leading poles of knowledge and expertise in this area certainly has the potential to produce significant results. The study of polymorphism is one of the most promising areas of study in terms of engineering of molecules, above all because it lays the foundations for the development of much more sustainable and efficient industrial chemical processes,” explained Professor Metrangolo.

“Through this long-term collaboration, we will be able to expand substantially our internal expertise in the analysis and study of the physical state of active ingredients, and at the same time increase our polymorphous screening capabilities. Two key areas of expertise to ensure competitiveness on the global pharmaceutical market,” said Giorgio Bertolini, Head of Research and Development Olon Group.


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Superfluorinated Extracellular Vesicles for In Vivo Imaging by ¹⁹F-MRI

Nazeeha Ayaz, Dr. Cristina Chirizzi, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli and others have recently published an article on ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces about "Superfluorinated Extracellular Vesicles for In Vivo Imaging by 19F-MRI".

The full paper can be found at the following link: Superfluorinated Extracellular Vesicles for In Vivo Imaging by 19F-MRI.

Abstract. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a crucial role in cell-to-cell communication and have great potential as efficient delivery vectors. However, a better understanding of EV in vivo behavior is hampered by the limitations of current imaging tools. In addition, chemical labels present the risk of altering the EV membrane features and, thus, in vivo behavior. 19F-MRI is a safe bioimaging technique providing selective images of exogenous probes. Here, we present the first example of fluorinated EVs containing PERFECTA, a branched molecule with 36 magnetically equivalent 19F atoms. A PERFECTA emulsion is given to the cells, and PERFECTA-containing EVs are naturally produced. PERFECTA-EVs maintain the physicochemical features, morphology, and biological fingerprint as native EVs but exhibit an intense 19F-NMR signal and excellent 19F relaxation times. In vivo 19F-MRI and tumor-targeting capabilities of stem cell-derived PERFECTA-EVs are also proved. We propose PERFECTA-EVs as promising biohybrids for imaging biodistribution and delivery of EVs throughout the body.


How to cite:
María Sancho-Albero, Nazeeha Ayaz, Victor Sebastian, Cristina Chirizzi, Miguel Encinas-Gimenez, Giulia Neri, Linda Chaabane, Lluís Luján, Pilar Martin-Duque, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Jesús Santamaría, and Francesca Baldelli Bombelli Superfluorinated Extracellular Vesicles for In Vivo Imaging by 19F-MRI, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2023, TBD
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c20566


Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells

Alessandro Marchetti, Dr. Claudia Pigliacelli, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, and others have recently published an article on Small about "Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells".

The full paper can be found at the following link: Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells.

Abstract. Out-of-equilibrium self-assembly of metal nanoparticles (NPs) has been devised using different types of strategies and fuels, but achieving finite 3D structures with a controlled morphology through this assembly mode is still rare. Here, a spherical peptide-gold superstructure (PAuSS) is used as a template to control the out-of-equilibrium self-assembly of Au NPs, obtaining a transient 3D-branched Au-nanoshell (BAuNS) stabilized by sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). The BAuNS dismantles upon SDS concentration gradient equilibration over time in the sample solution, leading to NPs disassembly and regression to PAuSS. Notably, BAuNS assembly and disassembly promotes temporary interparticle plasmonic coupling, leading to reversible and tunable changes of their plasmonic properties, a highly desirable behavior in the development of optoelectronic nanodevices.


How to cite:
Alessandro Marchetti, Alessandro Gori, Anna Maria Ferretti, Daniel Arenas Esteban, Sara Bals, Claudia Pigliacelli, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Templated Out-of-Equilibrium Self-Assembly of Branched Au Nanoshells, Small , 2023, 2206712
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202206712


Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of ¹⁹F-MRI Probes

Beatrice Bona, Dr. Cristina Chirizzi, Prof. Valentina Dichiarante, Prof. Pierangelo Metrangolo, Prof. Francesca Baldelli Bombelli and others have recently published an article on Accounts of Materials Research about "Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of 19F-MRI Probes".

The full paper can be found at the following link: Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of 19F-MRI Probes.

Abstract. Future medicine is primarily aiming at the development of novel approaches for an early diagnosis of diseases and a personalized therapy for patients. For achieving these objectives, a key role is played by medical imaging. Among available noninvasive imaging techniques, Fluorine-19 (19F) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is emerging as a powerful quantitative detection modality for clinical use both for molecular imaging and for cell tracking. The strength of using 19F-MRI is mainly related to the lack of endogenous organic fluorine in tissues, with no background, enabling the visualization of fluorinated tracers as hot-spot images, adding secondary independent information to the anatomical features provided by the grayscale 1H-MRI. The main challenge for 19F-MRI clinical application is the intrinsic reduced sensitivity of MRI. To improve sensitivity, undoubtedly the use of a high field MRI scanner and cryogenic radiofrequency probes is advantageous, but there is a clear need of developing increasingly effective fluorinated tracers. The ideal tracer should bear as many as possible magnetically equivalent fluorine atoms and show optimal magnetic resonance relaxivity properties (i.e., T1 and T2), which enable reduced acquisition time with the possibility to apply fast imaging methods. Moreover, it should be biocompatible with reduced tendency to bioaccumulate in tissues, which is one of the main drawbacks in using perfluorocarbons (PFCs), together with their difficulty to be chemically modified with functional groups. In fact, PFCs such as perfluorooctyl bromide (PFOB), perfluoro-15-crown-5-ether (PFCE), and linear perfluoropolyethers (PFPE) are currently the most used tracers in 19F-MRI preclinical and clinical studies, with the above-mentioned limitations. In this regard, molecules bearing short branched fluorinated chains gained a lot of attention for their high number of equivalent fluorines and expected capability of reducing bioaccumulation concerns. A valuable building block for branched fluorinated tracers is perfluoro-tert-butanol (PFTB), with nine magnetically equivalent fluorines and easy availability and modification. In this Account we will discuss the main challenges that 19F-MRI has to overcome for increasing its clinical use, highlighting on one hand the need of developing customized fluorinated materials for increasing sensitivity and enabling multimodal properties, and on the other hand, the importance of the ultrastructure of the final formulation for the final biological response (i.e., clearance). In this context, our group has been focusing on the synthesis and development of branched fluorinated tracers, for which the originator is a molecule called PERFECTA (from suPERFluorinatEdContrasT Agent), bearing 36 equiv 19F atoms, which showed not only optimal relaxometry properties but also a very specific and intense Raman signal. Thus, PERFECTA and its derivatives represent a new family of multimodal tracers enabling multiscale analysis, from whole body imaging (19F-MRI) to microscopic detection at the cellular/tissue level (Raman microscopy). We believe that our proposed PFTB strategy can strongly promote the production of increasingly effective 19F-MRI materials with additional functionalities, facilitating the clinical translation of this imaging modality.


How to cite:
Beatrice Lucia Bona, Olga Koshkina, Cristina Chirizzi, Valentina Dichiarante, Pierangelo Metrangolo and Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Multibranched-Based Fluorinated Materials: Tailor-Made Design of 19F-MRI Probes, Acc. Mater. Res., 2022, 4, 1, 71-85
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/accountsmr.2c00203



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