ESSP V6E1

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Do not miss the new issue of EPSA Newsletter!


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Table of contents 4 Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase 1 Inhibitors With Pyrimidinone Scaffold Discovered By Combined Ligand- And Structure-Based Virtual Screening 6 Selective Inhibition Of The Ncx Attenuates The Incidence Of Ventricular Arrhythmias 8 Effect Of Selected Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extracts Added To Linseed Oil On Its Peroxide And Anisidine Value 10 Formulation And Investigation Of Amphiphilic Graft Copolymer Based Polymer Micelles 12 Studies Regarding Antifungal Resistance Of Candida Species 14 Investigation of the Aggergation Properties and Surface Activity of Polysorbate 85 and Polysorbate Having Saturated Hydrophobic Part (Polysorbate 20 and Polysorbate 60) Mixtures

Dear readers, My name is Sanja Aleksić and I am EPSA Science Coordinator for the mandate 2018/2019 and therefore in charge of the EPSA Science Projects. Right now, in your hands, you hold the first EPSA Students’ Science Publication edition for this mandate - Volume 6, Edition 1. For those of you who are not familiar with this project, ESSP offers students an opportunity to publish their research abstracts, improve their writing skills and got a feedback from the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Science (EUFEPS), who professionally review the abstracts. Participating in this project, students improve valuable skills which help them in their future research and professional development. I am very happy to present you six different but very interesting students’ abstracts. Reading the abstracts, you can see how various pharmaceutical science can be and how much puzzles we need to complete a picture. Working together, sharing our ideas and thoughts we are on a good way to do it! For me, it was a great pleasure to collaborate with such talented students who have enough courage to submit their abstracts. Thank you very much, I have learned a lot from you! And, in the end, I want to thank EUFEPS for their collaboration and the hard work they have put into this edition, supporting this project and setting it on a high professional level. Also, I would like to thank the EPSA Team especially to the Public Relation Department and the Educational Department for the hard work, effort and everything they have done in order to make this ESSP edition possible and luminous as it is. I am looking forward to your abstracts in the next ESSP edition! Let science inspire you! Yours in EPSA, Sanja Aleksić, Science Coordinator 2018/2019


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European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

INDOLEAMINE 2,3-DIOXYGENASE 1 INHIBITORS WITH PYRIMIDINONE SCAFFOLD DISCOVERED BY COMBINED LIGAND- AND STRUCTURE-BASED VIRTUAL SCREENING Author: Matic Proj M.Sc. 1 Scientific Coordinators: Assist. Prof. Dr Matej Sova 1 , Assoc. Prof. Dr Janez Konc 2 Institutions: 1 Faculty of Pharmacy, The Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia; 2 National Institute of Chemistry, Theory Department, Ljubljana, Slovenia

INTRODUCTION: L-tryptophan catabolism plays a vital role in one of the most important mechanisms evolved by tumour cells to escape the immune surveillance. The initial and rate-limiting step is oxidation of L-tryptophan to N-formyl-L-kynurenine catalysed by a hemecontaining enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1). The deregulation and consequently excessive IDO1 expression in tumour microenvironment leads to L-tryptophan depletion and accumulation of its metabolite L-kynurenine, both responsible for immunosuppression. Currently, there are at least seven small-molecule IDO1 inhibitors under clinical development. AIM: Our objective was to design and develop small-molecule IDO1 inhibitors as potential anticancer agents. The design of novel cancer immunotherapeutics was performed using advanced in silico approaches. METHODS AND RESULTS: Firstly, ligandbased virtual screening and combined ligand- and structure-based virtual screening approaches were carried out. The latter was found to be more efficient. Roughly 16 million commercially available compounds from a free public ZINC database were used as an input and filtered before use to eliminate promiscuous compounds. 22 most promising in silico hits were purchased from various vendors. Their inhibitory activity was evaluated using a highly sensitive fluorescence-based biochemical assay leading to a discovery of two novel IDO1 inhibitors with an IC50 value below 100 ÎźM. One of the two hit compounds (Figure 1) was selected for further optimization using virtual screening and synthetic approach. With additional more focused virtual screening two compounds exhibiting stronger inhibitory activity than the hit compound were discovered. We developed a three-step synthetic pathway for the hit compound and synthesized three analogues

with structural modifications in the side chain. Synthesised analogues did not exhibit any stronger inhibitory activity. Thus, more optimal structural changes should be further explored. CONCLUSION: Four pyrimidine-4(3H)one scaffold based IDO1 inhibitors were discovered. The outcomes represent an important starting point for further structural optimization to improve the IDO1 inhibitory activity.

Figure 1: Predicted binding mode of the hit compound


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In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? In my opinion, ESSP is a great opportunity to practice writing scientific abstracts, present your work, and also get a second opinion. These are all extremely useful and sometimes Please, tell us a little bit more about underestimated skills for young scientists. yourself. My name is Matic Proj, I come from the My advice is to first think about which research Faculty of Pharmacy in Ljubljana. I am a topic interests you the most. Then find a good recent graduate and I just started working mentor who will help you transition from a as a researcher in medicinal chemistry at our student to a researcher. faculty. I have a great passion for research so my plan for the next year is to become a PhD student. I find the field of medicinal chemistry exceptionally interesting with many research opportunities.

Questions & answers

Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. The development of immunotherapy was a turning point in cancer treatment. With the first drug, ipilimumab, approved by the FDA in 2011 we are now able to harness the immune system to battle tumours. These drugs represent a whole new type of cancer treatment besides surgery, radiotherapy and anti-cancer drugs. The significance of this field was recognised by this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome it? At first when reading scientific articles everything seemed pretty straightforward. We made our plans and began with virtual screening and then organic synthesis. I realised that the experiments are really timeconsuming and not everything goes according to plan. But you learn from mistakes, you improve, change your plan and slowly, step by step, you overcome the challenges.


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European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

SELECTIVE INHIBITION OF THE NCX ATTENUATES THE INCIDENCE OF VENTRICULAR ARRHYTHMIAS Author: Dóra Vigh (vigh.doraa@gmail.com) Scientific Coordinator: János Prorok PhD, András Varró, DSc Prof. Institution: Department of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Hungary

INTRODUCTION: Although physical exercise and sports are healthy, improving quality of life and life expectancy, but this is in contradiction with a number of tragic sudden deaths involving young competitive athletes. The frequency of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is about 2-20 times higher than a non-exercised population of the same age. Therefore, it may be assumed that regular intensive physical activity may increase arrhythmia sensitivity. Increased arrhythmia susceptibility alone does not cause fatal arrhythmias, but many known risk factors may further decrease the cardiac functions and repolarization reserves and increase the risk of arrhythmias. Very important to note, that at least two or more independent factors (hypertrophy, drugs, hypokalaemia, flavonoids, etc.) are needed for the SCD. The potassium depletion during exercise, which may cause hypokalaemia (HK), increases the development of ventricular arrhythmias. The HK decreases the Na+-K+-ATP-ase activity, leading to elevated intracellular Na+. This may elevate the cellular Ca2+ through activation of reverse mode Na+/Ca2+-exchanger (NCX), which may contribute to the increased abnormal release and extrasystoles. AIM: In this work, we investigated that NCX affected the arrhythmogenesis under hypokalaemic millieu and whether the selective NCX inhibition prevents the HKinduced electrophysiological changes and the associated increase of arrhythmia risk. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Left ventricular pressure (LVP) and ECG were recorded in isolated rodent hearts, while action potential duration (APD) and cell shortening were studied in papillary muscles and ventricular cells, respectively. HK was induced by 2,7 and 1mM K+ solutions. NCX inhibition was achieved with 1µM ORM10962 (ORM). RESULTS: HK solution markedly increased LVP in Langendorff hearts, indicating net cellular Ca gain. However, administration of ORM in a separate group completely prevented the HK-induced increase in LVP. In line with this observation, ORM effectively reduced the HK-induced increase of cell shortening in isolated myocytes. Perfusion of hearts with HK solution markedly elevated the total number of arrhythmias compared to

the normal solution. However, the presence of ORM in the HK solution significantly decreased the incidence of arrhythmias HK solution lengthened the APD in papillary, which was significantly reduced by ORM. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that HK significantly increase the frequency of extrasystole and arrhythmia. Increased arrhythmia propensity in HK may be attenuated by NCX inhibition, therefore presumably the NCX is clearly involved. Both the hypokalemia-induced increased Ca2+ load and the altered AP morphology may contribute to the arrhythmia generation.


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research work is very important and it makes us responsible. I learned a lot of things I did not learn at school, so it is a good way for the students to become better.

Questions & answers Please, tell us a little bit more about yourself. My name is Dóra Vigh and I am from Hungary. I am a fourth-grade student at the University of Szeged Faculty of Pharmacology. I started my reesarch work three years ago. I like this faculty and I feel really motivated about scientific work. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. My research is about how we can prevent hypokalaemia induced arrhythmias by inhibiting the Na/Ca-exchanger. To inhibit this channel, we used a selective pharmacon,ORM-10962. Most of the time we work with isolated guinea pig hearts. To perfuse the heart we use Langendorff and I also record the ECG parameters. We found that inhibiting this chanel, it decreased the frequency of arrhythmias. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge for me was to accept that we kill animals. I told myself that they do not feel any pain, we don’t hurt them and that is true. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? Being a part of a team like this is very useful. We can contact other students like us, we get a chance to show others our work and for me it is a very big thing. I think doing


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European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

EFFECT OF SELECTED SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE EXTRACTS ADDED TO LINSEED OIL ON ITS PEROXIDE AND ANISIDINE VALUE Author: Katja Kramberger Scientific Coordinator: Nina KoÄ?evar GlavaÄ?, Assoc. Prof. Institution: Faculty of Pharmacy, Ljubljana, Slovenia

INTRODUCTION: Linseed oil is a common component of nutraceuticals for preserving heart health due to its very high content of -linolenic acid. The high degree of unsaturation makes this oil susceptible for oxidation, which leads under improper storage conditions to deterioration. Addition of antioxidants to linseed oil to prolong its shelf-life is therein reasonable approach. However, frequently used synthetic antioxidants can show toxic effects during long-term use, therefore research has been increasingly seeking effective and safer natural antioxidants. AIM: The aim of the study was to investigate especially in terms of producing smaller the effect of supercritical carbon dioxide plant peroxide values and prolonging the oil stability extracts on the oxidative stability of linseed oil. for up to 4 days. Other studied samples did not show any significant effect on enhancing MATERIALS AND METHODS: the oxidative stability of the oil. Extracts of St. Extracts of common dandelion, St. John’s John’s wort, olive tree and hawthorn have wort, hawthorn, sandy everlasting, olive even accelerated the deterioration. tree and black elder were used. Generally established antioxidant vitamin E was used for CONCLUSION: Two of the six studied comparison. Oil samples with added extracts extracts have shown potential for preventing in four concentrations of each were aged at oxidative deterioration of the linseed oil. In 40 °C in the dark and at room temperature, the future, total phytochemical composition unprotected from light and air. Methods of the studied extracts should be determined for oxidative state determination were and additional tests for determination of peroxide value, determined by iodometric antioxidative activity should be carried out. titration and anisidine value, determined by spectrophotometric analysis. The former served as a marker of primary oxidation products and the latter as a primary decay and secondary oxidation products formation marker. Afterwards total oxidation range was estimated with the summation of both values in the form of the total value. Composition of extracts, mainly volatile terpenoids, and its alteration during ageing were studied by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The best conclusive results were obtained for the samples of black elder and sandy everlasting, which slowed down the deterioration of the linseed oil. Black elder extracts were even better than vitamin E,


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to present your student work and is a stepping stone for your future (scientific) article writing. My advice to fellow researchers is to make the best of your research experience and to always look ahead for new opportunities.

Questions & answers Please, tell us a little bit more about yourself. I graduated from Faculty of Pharmacy at the Universitiy of Ljubljana in August and got enrolled in Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine at the Faculty of Medicine. I am also employed at Faculty for Health Sciences at the Universitiy of Primorska as a young researcher. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. I was lucky to get a place for my master’s thesis research in the Laboratory for Pharmacognosy at Faculty of Pharmacy in Ljubljana. The results are a part of bigger research in this department and will be assembled in a scientific article by my mentor. I personally benefited from this work experience as it led me to my current position as a young researcher. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? The biggest challenge was the work management, as there were a lot of samples to be analysed daily. The analysis should follow a certain time schedule, but this aim could not be achieved because of unpredicted activities. We solved this problem by adjusting the time scale on graphs for all samples and providing an explanation for different timings. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? I think joining ESSP gives you a good chance


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FORMULATION AND INVESTIGATION OF AMPHIPHILIC GRAFT COPOLYMER BASED POLYMER MICELLES 1

Bence Sipos1, Piroska Szabó-Révész1, Gábor Katona1 Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Regulatory Affairs

INTRODUCTION: Polymeric micelles present a promising tool to increase bioavailability and change the toxicological profile of the encapsulated drug. Their particle size is around 80 nm, which is optimal for passing the physiological barriers. Soluplus® (BASF GmbH, Germany) is a novel solubilizing amphiphilic graft copolymer (Mr = 90 000-140 000 g/l), which is polymerized from polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG 6000), vinyl caprolactam and vinyl acetate in a ratio of 13:57:30, offers the possibility of a good solubility enhancement in combination with a fast dissolution to drug-loaded polymer micelles. Its CMC is 7.6 mg/L and HLB value is approx. 13. Our current project’s aim is to formulate polymeric micelles with a model drug of extensive therapeutic use and numerous indications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methanol, ethanol, 2-propanol, acetone and acetonitrile (Merck Ltd., Budapest, Hungary) as solvents were used for the preparation of polymeric micelles [1]. The model drug was dissolved in the organic solvents under constant stirring and 1% NaOH was used for setting the pH [2]. Each solution was investigated at alkaline and neutral pH using 10% hydrochloric acid for adjusting pH 7.0. To form the micelle Soluplus® was added to the solution. The organic solvent was evaporated with vacuum distillery and the polymeric micelles precipitated. The particle size and zeta potential were measured using a Malvern nanoZS instrument (Malvern, Worcestershire, UK). To investigate, whether the formed polymer micelles contain a drug, absorption spectroscopy methods were used. We investigated with XRPD, DSC and we also did an in vitro dissolution test in stomach acidic pH. RESULTS: The precipitate was easily dissolved unlike the original material which was a good sign that we improved the solubility. The particle size is acceptable by the EMA regulations, 50% of the particles are under 100 nm size, they are around the ideal 80 nm even before membrane filtering. The zeta potentials are the appropriate values, they promise complying stability. Spectroscopic studies showed fast drug

release of the formulation. CONCLUSION: We can conclude Soluplus® is a good excipient for the preparation of polymer micelles. Formulating polymer micelles can improve the solubility of poorly soluble agents, which can be useful for developing “value added” preparations. REFERENCES: 1. Miller, T. et al. Pharmaceutical Research, 30, 584-595 (2013). 2. Kulthe, S.S. et al. Designed Monomers and Polymers, 15, 465-521 (2012).


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with the solid particles we wanted.

Questions & answers Please, tell us a little bit more about yourself. I’m a fourth-year pharmacist student at the University of Szeged, Faculty of Pharmacy. In my future, I want to stay at the university to research more about nanotechnology. My other interests are cosmetology and dermatology. In my spare time I learn French and improve my English by watching my favourite tv series and social media platforms. My other hobbies include social work, going out with friends and organizing events for the university. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. Our research’s main focus is to improve the water-solubility of poorly soluble APIs using polymer encapsulation techniques such as formulating a polymer micelle. By making it soluble, we can reach a more efficient potential of the API in a shorter time. This is very useful especially when we talk about NSAIDs, where the time of pain relief is the main factor during therapy. Previous research showed us that in nanotechnology we can get a better bioavailability which can lead to lowering the dose for the same effect. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? Our formulation’s first step is carried out in an organic solvent-water mixture and with some organic solvents it just seemed impossible to separate them after forming the polymer micelle. By changing the ratios and excluding some solvents we could easily evaporate all of them with vacuum distillery and we ended up

In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? I think it’s always a good thing as a researcher to put your name up on an international platform especially during young age. My advice is to always follow your dreams and never give up even when there is a block in your research. It’s never going to be easy but if you do it with passion, there will be nothing standing in your way.


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European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

STUDIES REGARDING ANTIFUNGAL RESISTANCE OF CANDIDA SPECIES Author: Marina-Ionela Ilie (marinaxilie@gmail.com ) Scientific Coordinator: Andreea Letiția Arsene PhD Assoc. Prof Institution: „Carol Davila”, Bucharest University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of General and Pharmaceutical Microbiology

INTRODUCTION: Immune imbalance, as a result of different pathologies, of certain physiological states or as a result of certain medicine administration, favorises mycotic infection development, especially with Candida spp. AIM: The purpose of this study was to test the sensitivity or resistance of Candida species from several pathologic products, to some antifungal medicines. METHODS: The study included 180 patients hospitalized at Slatina Municipal Hospital, during March 2017- February 2018. Out of the patients, 69,44% were female and 30,56% were male. The following pathological products were used: vaginal secretion, wound secretion, spit and urine. The patients were distributed in 2 groups, based on the method used for testing the sensibility of the Candida species. Samples derived from the first group were processed with the Vitek device, testing the species’ resistance to the following drugs: fluconazole, voriconazole, caspofungin, micafungin, amphotericin B, flucytosine. For the second group, the fungi gram test was performed manually, testing the species’ resistance to fluconazole, amphotericin B, nystatin, clotrimazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, miconazole. RESULTS: For the two testing methods, the first group developed a sensitivity of 86.87% against fluconazole and 89.90% against amphotericin B, while for the second group, the sensitivity varied as follows: 29.63% against fluconazole and 74.07% against amphotericin B. This difference can be

explained by using different concentrations of medicine for the two fungi gram tests, and also human error, which could intervene while interpreting the second group’s manual fungi gram testresult. CONCLUSION: The study results proved an important variability of Candida strains from different pathologic products (vaginal secretion, wound secretion, spit and urine) against different antifungal medicines. The major population which developed candidiases were pregnant women, and the main pathogen agent was C. albicans. Compared to the other tested medicine, a higher resistance to fluconazole and amphotericin B was observed for both groups. The most efficient antifungals proved to be caspofungin, flucytosine, fluconazole, voriconazole, nistatin, miconazole, clotrimazole.


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The biggest challenge I had to overcome whilst carrying out the research had to do with communication between me and my partner relating to time management and task sharing so that our research could be completed on time. Despite originally finding ourselves behind schedule, we quickly managed to find a suitable time window for both of us and, by working together, we managed to get Please, tell us a little bit more about our progress on schedule and complete the research well ahead of its deadline. yourself. Hi! My name is Marina and I am a pharmacy student in Bucharest, Romania. I’ve been In your opinion, what is the benefit living here for the past 4 years and I love of joining ESSP and what advice do taking long walks around the city, discovering you have for students undertaking new places and meeting new people almost research in the future? every day. Whenever I get the chance, I enjoy I believe that joining the ESSP represents travelling and learning about other places and a great opportunity for students who are cultures, meeting new people and learning interested in doing research because it offers about their customs and lifestyle, so I take an amazing opening for students seeking to every opportunity I can to see more of the enhance their skills on academic research world around me. When I’m not travelling or and publish their work under professional and walking around the city, I’m usually involved academic guidance. I would advise future with my studies because I’m very passionate students to not feel intimidated by the prospect about pharmacy. It’s a field that intrigues me of publishing their work and presenting it at and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction academic gatherings, to be confident and knowing that the result of my work might one proud of their achievements and to strive to be tomorrow’s leading researchers in their day help other people. respective fields.

Questions & answers

Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. The idea to start this project came to me after a conversation with a friend of mine after she complained about suffering from a recurrent candidosis which was very resistant to treatment. After advising her to try and get an appointment at the doctor’s office and do a fungi gram test to find which drugs would be more effective at treating her infection, I realized that a study detailing which drug could be most effectively paired with the Candida species commonly found in people with candidosis would greatly benefit a lot of people in a similar situation. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that?


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European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association

INVESTIGATION OF THE AGGREGATION PROPERTIES AND SURFACE ACTIVITY OF POLYSORBATE 85 AND POLYSORBATE HAVING SATURATED HYDROPHOBIC PART (POLYSORBATE 20 AND POLYSORBATE 60) MIXTURES Author: Stefan Grgić Supervisor: Dejan Ćirin, PhD, Teaching Assistant Institution: Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacy, University of Novi Sad

INTRODUCTION: Polysorbates, commercially known as Tweens, are one of the most significant nonionic surfactants which are used in pharmaceutical formulations. They increase the stability of disperse systems, and the solubility of hydrophobic drugs. Due to the specific chemical structure and biodegradability, polysorbates are more commonly used for the development of novel drug delivery systems, as well. AIM: The first aim is to investigate the surface activity of polysorbate 20 (P20), polysorbate 60 (P60) and polysorbate 85 (P85), as well as their mixtures, P85/P20 and P85/ P60, in a molar ratio 1:1, 1:10 and 10:1, respectively. The second aim is to investigate the aggregation properties of these mixtures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Surface activity and aggregation properties of individual polysorbates and P85/P20 and P85/P60 mixtures were investigated by employing the tensiometric method.

more at the interface than P20 and P60, most likely due to its higher hydrophobicity, i.e. due to greater hydrophobic effect. A higher amount of mixtures with a higher ratio of P85 are adsorbed at the interface than mixtures with a higher ratio of P20 or P60, most likely for the same reason. Based on an investigation of aggregation properties, it was observed that synergism exists in all investigated mixtures. Polysorbate 85 contains sterically rigid cis double bonds in the oleic acid residues, which partially increases the rigidity of micellar core and its instability. By incorporating polysorbates with saturated, flexible hydrocarbon chain (P20 and P60), the stability of formed aggregates is increased.

RESULTS: By surface activity investigation it was determined that the value of maximum surface excess (Τmax) increases in the following order P20 < P60 < P85. Therefore, KEYWORDS: surface activity, critical micelle P85 has the highest value of Τmax. The P85/ concentration, mixed micelles, polysorbates. P60 mixtures have higher Τmax than the P85/ P20 mixtures. It was also noticed that the experimental values of the critical micelle concentration (CMC) are lower than the ideal CMC values (according to Clint’s theory), and that the excess Gibbs energy values are negative for all molar ratios of surfactants. CONCLUSION: Polysorbate 85 is adsorbed


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Questions & answers Please, tell us a little bit more about yourself. If you open up a dictionary, and look up for the word “science”, you will definitely find a picture of me. All joking aside, my name is Stefan Grgić, and I’m soon-to-be Master of Sciences of Pharmacy, at the University of Novi Sad. If I were asked what science represented to me, I would say that it represents the enterprise of solving the riddles that still remain unresolved, which is why I’m passionate about science, especially pharmaceutical sciences, in the first place. Since I have demonstrated and possess great interest and knowledge in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Drug Analysis, I have participated in three research projects so far, at the Department of Pharmacy and Department of Biochemistry. Apart from being engaged in scientific research projects, I have also shown initiative in participating activities and projects organized by NAPSer, National Association of Pharmacy Students – Serbia, which led me becoming Clinical Skills Event Coordinator at Pharmaceutical Students’ Association of Novi Sad, PSANS, with the aim to implement and promote Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practise. Currently, I am working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at Research Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, at the University of Sharjah, UAE. Tell us a bit more about your research and its significance. Well, polysorbates are not the unknown group of compounds to the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Industry, since they represent one of the most significant non-ionic surfactants used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations. It is a well-known fact that polysorbates are generally soluble in water, they are biodegradable and less

toxic comparing to the other surfactants in general. However, often is omitted the fact that polysorbates can inhibit P-glycoprotein-mediated drug efflux, which is an important mechanism that pumps many drugs out of the cells, mostly anticancer agents. Thus, polysorbates are emerging as novel drug delivery systems, where anticancer agents, as hydrophobic substances, can be incorporated in the hydrophobic micellar core of the polysorbates, which can lead to superior pharmacokinetic properties of anticancer agents. What was the biggest challenge whilst carrying out the research and how did you overcome that? This was actually my first research project, which at that time was both exciting and terrifying, as well as great honour at the same time. For me, the biggest challenge was interpreting the results, namely due to the fact that aggregation properties are described with different thermodynamic parameters, most of which based on approximations at the molecular level. With the guidance of my supervisor, Dejan Ćirin, who unselfishly shared his knowledge with me in this field, I managed to overcome this obstacle. In your opinion, what is the benefit of joining ESSP and what advice do you have for students undertaking research in the future? It is not seldom that many great research projects are not published in prestigious journals or presented at famous conferences due to poorly written abstracts. ESSP is a great platform for students to learn how to adequately write a scientific abstract, with the privilege to be examined by EUFEPS. As a piece of advice for students who show interest in conducting a research, I would use the words of Marie Curie, herself: “Nothing in life is to be feared,

it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less”.


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