The work of our group is focused on the synthesis, in vitro and in vivo evaluation of trithiolato-bridged dinuclear ruthenium(II)-arene compounds as well as on the investigation of their interactions with cellular targets and of their mechanism(s) of action. Some of our compounds have very promising cytotoxic anticancer and antiparasitic activities, and we expect that some of these compounds will be able to enter preclinical tests in the near future.
It is compulsory for us to determine their possible mechanism of action and their fate in cells in order to identify valuable candidate for pharmacological applications. The determination of various physicochemical parameters is therefore compulsory.
The laboratory devices that we were able to acquire thanks to the UniBern Forschungsstiftungs’ grant, a sophisticated pH-meter, a thermo-controlled shaker and a centrifuge have become essential for us. Since our ruthenium compounds currently synthesized are becoming more and more sophisticated, they require several synthetic steps reactions. Due to high cost of some starting materials, they are available in only limited quantities. The thermo-controlled shaker built-in PID control ensures consistent shaking results and precis temperature control that greatly enhance the stability of the reactions and the overall yields. The centrifuge including spin columns and microliter tubes to sediment particles allows to rapidly and efficiently purify the samples by centrifugation. We can now perform numerous and reliable compulsory tests/assays such as solubility, lipophilicity, or stability in various media and ensure their accuracy and reproducibility. Among other, the specialized pH meter allows to precisely controlling and adapting the pH of the media, for instance to mimic the blood stream (pH ~7.3) or the cytosol of cancer cells (pH ~ 5.5-6).
The team members largely benefit from this new equipment and they have acquired new practical skills related to the realization of specific physicochemical and biochemical experiments.
PD Dr. Julien Furrer
Departement für Chemie, Biochemie und Pharmazie