Meet the teams: HyperMed

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis!

The HyperMed team is composed of two PhD students and one master student from the University of Bucharest. The aim of the experiment is to investigate the interaction of non-irradiated and laser irradiated medicine solutions with different target surfaces under hypergravity conditions.

Influence of hypergravity on the interaction of medicine solutions

University University of Bucharest
Endorsing professor Mihail Lucian Pascu
National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics (NILPRP)
ELGRA mentor Ralf Möller
DLR, German Aerospace Center, Cologne
Team Ágota Simon, Tatiana Tozar (Alexandru), Alexandru Stoicu
HyperMed team
HyperMed team

Since multiple drug resistance evolved continuously, the interest in developing new strategies to fight it has significantly increased. Therefore, it became crucial to discover new medicines or to improve the action of the existing ones. The employment of UV laser beams provides a new platform for these requirements, by inducing structural changes at the molecular level of photosensitive non-antibiotics. A proposed method consists in the exposure of medicine solutions to laser radiation, obtaining in this way new photoproducts with possible antimicrobial activities. This is the case of phenothiazines, proposed for this study.

To meet the objective pendant droplets will be generated and the contact angles of sessile drops formed at the liquid-solid-air interface will be measured. In biomedical applications the wetting processes play a decisive role; for this reason the wettability of target surfaces and the accumulation of medicine solutions in them will be studied at different hypergravity levels. Impregnation of these surfaces with such solutions is important in developing new delivery procedures of medicines to target tissues. On the other hand, it has been evidenced that several bacteria can survive and are able to proliferate at high g- and/or low g-levels, thus threatening spacecraft’s walls and components. The wettability of such surfaces by non-antibiotic solutions will also be studied under the effect of increased gravity. This should be investigated since the use of medicines is always made after they transit hypergravity conditions at launching and landing.

HyperMed team experiment
HyperMed team experiment

“Multifunctional medicines” (such as phenothiazines) for cleaning infected surfaces or treating humans may be one major breakthrough of the studies since medicines normally have one use and after interaction with particular laser radiations, they generate photoproducts with other properties and applications with respect to their parent compound(s).