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» Home » Research Projects » National Grants II - 2008 » NANO-HEPAT



Project number: PN II 62-072



The project is mainly aimed at the assessment of the toxic effects of certain xenobiotics with a major impact on liver parenchyma and hepatocytes, at obtaining and characterizing biocompounds of plant origin with hepatoprotective potential and their nanoencapsulation in biocompatible matrices (natural oligosaccharide matrices). Secondly, the project aims to evaluate their therapeutic properties as well as research mechanisms of action through which they are involved in the neutralization of certain xenobiotics and in the liver morphofunctional recovery. The nanoencapsulation of plant biocompounds aims to increase the bioavailability and an enhancement of the concentration in the target area, in order to improve therapeutic efficiency.
The specific objectives of the project aim at: obtaining and characterizing the hepatoprotective activity of the biocompounds; the obtaining of nanoparticles based on biocompounds with hepatoprotective activity from the following species Chelidonium, Berberis and Matricaria; in vitro evaluation of the toxicity of certain hepatotoxic xenobiotics (cytostatic drugs, CCl4, alcohol); in vitro evaluation of the biological activity of nanoparticles with hepatoprotective potential, as a consequence of xenobiotics administration; in vivo evaluation of the biological activity of nanoparticles with hepatoprotective potential; the development of standardized methods of treatment to facilitate safety assessment of hepatoprotective nanoparticles administration.
The experimental methodologies involve a high degree of complexity and include cutting edge techniques in cell and molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry: techniques of separation and purification of plant biocompounds; techniques of biocompatible cyclodextrin encapsulation of biocompounds, in vitro culture methods and optimization methods for HepG2, Huh7 hepatocyte cell lines culture conditions, assessment techniques of cytotoxic effects and techniques for determining the capacity of hepatocyte cellular proliferation; techniques for highlighting apoptotic markers in liver cells, for highlighting DNA fragmentation in hepatocytes; the analysis of gene expression modulation for the genes involved in the apoptosis process (Bcl2, Bax), optical microscopy and electron microscopy/rat liver treated with nanoparticles (in vivo studies).


1. “Vasile Goldis” Vest University Arad (CO)

Project director: Reader Hermenean Anca, PhD

2. University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of the Banat Region Timisoara

3. Politehnica University Timisoara

4. University of Bucharest

Manager: Cristina Munteanu, PhD

5. Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca

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