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Project Title:  EXPLOITATION OF SPONTANEOUS FLORA RESOURCES BY NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR THE OBTAINING OF HIGH BIOACTIVE HYPERICIN CONCENTRATES - SPOFLORAHYP

EXPLOATAREA RESURSELOR FLOREI SPONTANE PRIN NANOTEHNOLOGIE IN VEDEREA OBTINERII DE CONCENTRATE DE HIPERICINA CU INALTA BIOACTIVITATE

Acronim:  SPOFLORAHYP

Funding Authority:  EXECUTIVE UNIT FOR FINANCING HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION (UEFISCDI), Program 4 - Partnerships in priority areas
Project budget (including other sources):  3.036.233 lei
Contract budget (only governmental source):  2.800.000 lei
Contract period:  2012 - 2015
Coordinator:  National Institute of Research and Development for Chemistry and Petrochemistry - ICECHIM


Project Abstract:

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) (SJW) is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs in the world. From a pharmacological standpoint, the hypericins are at present the most interesting compounds of SJW .The bioactivity of these compounds, that nature offers us, explain the many works developed on this compound. The naphthodianthrones hypericin and pseudohypericin occur in the flowers and leaves of SJW. Hypericin is believed to act as an antibiotic and non-specific kinase inhibitor. Because hypericin accumulates preferentially in cancerous tissues, it is also used as an indicator of cancerous cells. Hypericin, is presently being clinically evaluated as an antiviral agent in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Also hypericin was proven to be anti cholesterol and so, useful for blood circulation. In addition, hypericin is under research as an agent in photodynamic diagnosis (PDD) and therapy (PDT), of cancer.

The project target is to elaborate the production technologies for molecular imprinting of polymers with hypericin 1 enantiomer and for using these new materials in selective separations (MISPE), in order to obtain high bioactive concentrates of hypericin. This will allow the better exploitation of the resources of spontaneous flora and hereby to obtain by the "green chemistry" approaches dietary supplements able to prevent or to cure some diseases of the population. It would be possible, in the future, to obtain even drugs much safer then the synthetic similar products.

The main novelty of the project proposal is that it is intended to obtain molecularly imprinted polymer materials using as template the enantiomer 1 of hypericin, the materials being appropriate for preparative extraction of this enantiomer from primary SJW extracts. The second novelty of the project is the identification of technological parameters for MISPE separation of hypericin on the new materials. The third novelty of the project is the obtaining of high bioactive dietary supplements (concentrates) of hypericin. The many original idea involved in the project realization insures the deposition of at least 2 patent askings.

The hypericin concentrates that we intend to produce from St. John's Wort are a world novelty. Such products are not yielded in Romania or abroad. Their enhanced bioactivity in preventing or curing some very dangerous diseases such as cancer, HIV, blood circulation disorders and depressions, will enable them to penetrate quickly on national and European markets. The concentrates could be used latter on for the separation of interesting pure tautomers.

The project target is that, by the co-operation between top research teams from one research institute and 2 universities, together with a SME, to elaborate the production technologies for molecular imprinting of polymers with hypericin 1 enantiomer and for using these new materials in selective separations (MISPE), in order to obtain high bioactive concentrates of hypericin. This will allow the better exploitation of the resources of spontaneous flora and hereby to obtain by the "green chemistry" approaches dietary supplements to prevent or to cure some diseases of the population. It would be possible, in the future, to obtain even drugs much safer then the synthetic similar products.