Imperial College London

A new frontier in inorganic chemistry

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Clotilde Policar, professor in bio-inorganic chemistry at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.

Clotilde Policar, professor in bio-inorganic chemistry at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.

The last IMSE Highlight Seminar of the year focused on the use of metal complexes as a new method for medical imagining and drug delivery.

In her IMSE Highlight Seminar, Clotilde Policar, a professor in bio-inorganic chemistry at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, outlined the use of metal complexes for both bio medical imaging and as a novel method for drug delivery.

Metal complexes consist of a central metal atom or ion that is bonded to one or more ligands (a ligand derives from the Latin word ligare, meaning “to bind”) which are ions or molecules that contain one or more pairs of electrons that can be shared with the metal. 

Oxidative stress is linked to several diseases, including cancer, heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Clotilde Policar Professor in bio-inorganic chemistry at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.

Professor Policar's research team, comprising medical doctors, physicists, chemists, biologists, look at the correct balance in the body between oxidative stress and anti-oxidants. Oxidative stress is linked to several diseases, including cancer, heart disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Through careful design, the group is able to design metal complexes that can mimic anti-oxidants and reduce oxidative stress in patients. 

Medical imaging

As well as drug delivery, Professor Policar's group has started working on developing metal-based probes. Using micro-Xray-fluorescence, they can image where the metal complexes end up in the body.

Clotilde Policar
Clotilde Policar giving her IMSE Highlight Seminar.

In her seminar, Professor Policar presented results showing an example of a manganese metal complex entering an inflamed cell, with the resulting decrease in inflammation after manganese enters cell.




Small molecules containing Manganese were chosen as they were observed to enter the inflamed cells more easily. In her results Professor Policar showed that, despite larger metallic molecules having more anti-oxide activity, compared to other metals that are too large to enter cells.

Professor Policar's team is a powerful demonstration of the progress that can be made from cross disciplinary research, that is championed at Imperial by the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering.

Professor Clotilde Policar a professor in bio-inorganic chemistry at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.


Reporter

Dr Kieran Brophy

Dr Kieran Brophy
Faculty of Engineering

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Contact details

Email: kieran.brophy13@imperial.ac.uk

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