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Halocarbons in Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology: New opportunities and challenges

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The lecture is divided into three different but interwoven topics. First, it will be shown how halocarbons are useful supramolecular building blocks. In particular, the halogen bond, namely the noncovalent interaction involving halogen atoms as electrophilic species drives the intermolecular recognition and self-assembly of halocarbons with anions, polymers, and proteins allowing for the obtainment of an entirely new class of functional materials displaying unique features. Photoresponsive materials, super hydrogelators, porous templates, among others, were obtained. On the other hand halocarbons are also widespread pollutants which function as endocrine disruptors, biomimicking thyroid hormone mechanism of action. For this reason, we engineered monoclonal antibodies that by mimicking thyroxine binding are able to selectively recognize tetrahalogenated bisphenols, which are a class of industrial pollutants of recent concern for public safety. Halogenation of protein is also a well-known oxidative stress-related mechanism, which plays a role in many diseases, such as Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, asthma, allergies, etc. We have proposed for the first time that halogenation may alter protein self-assembly and fibrillation as a consequence of unnatural halogen bonding. Finally, it will be shown how fluorinated molecules behave as powerful bioimaging contrast agents, and deliver new solutions in theranostics and nano medicine.

1. Metrangolo, P.; et al. Chem. Rev. 2016, 116, 2478. 2. Metrangolo, P.; et al. Nature Commun. 2014, 5:4043, DOI : 10.1038/ncomms5043. 3. Metrangolo, P.; et al. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2012, 22, 2571. 4. Metrangolo, P.; et al. Nature Commun. 2015, 6:7574, DOI : 10.1038/ncomms8574. 5. Metrangolo, P.; et al. Science 2009, 321, 918. 6. Metrangolo, P.; et al. Nature Chem. 2012, 4, 437.

Pierangelo Metrangolo is full professor at Politecnico di Milano. He also holds a position as visiting professor at VTT -Technical Research Centre of Finland and at the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials of Aalto University, Finland. His awards include the 2005 ‘‘G. Ciamician’’ medal of the Division of Organic Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society and the 2005 Journals Grant Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is Co-Editor of Acta Crystallogr. B (IUCr), is in the editorial board of CrystEngComm (RSC), and in the Editorial Advisory Board of Cryst. Growth Des. (ACS). He is author of 191 publications with 10138 citations (H-index: 51). He is currently Titular Member of the Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division of the IUPAC . Since 2013 he is European Research Council grantee with the project “FOLDHALO – Folding with Halogen Bonding”, aimed at investigating the relevance of biomolecular halogen bonds.

This talk is part of the Physical Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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