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Browsing by master's degree program "none"

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  • Tamminen, Matti (2016)
    Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (mPPases) are a potential target for drugs against many neglected protozoan diseases, such as malaria, leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis and trypanosomiasis. New drugs against these diseases are urgently needed, as the clinically used ones are either not effective, suffer from side effects, or resistance against them is developing. The mPPases of these protozoans are genetically conserved, while mammalian DNA does not encode them. A drug development project to find mPPase inhibitors was started, based on mPPase structures solved through X-Ray crystallography. Four hit compounds were identified. The aim of this study was to investigate the binding of these hit compounds at the mPPase binding site, and based on these results, to develop and synthesize novel compounds with higher affinity. A hit compound with an isoxazole ring was chosen as the model compound to be developed further. These novel compounds were evaluated by docking them into the binding site. Eight compounds were chosen to be synthesized and four to be purchased. The Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction was used to couple the isoxazole core to different aromatic substituents, producing 3,5-disubstituted isoxazoles. The reactions mostly succeeded, but the yields were uniformly low. Developing the reaction using different solvents and reaction conditions did not produce clear results. Thirteen compounds were tested for activity, including an intermediate product of the synthesis. Two of the compounds showed increased inhibition activity compared to the hit compound, with approximated IC50 values of 10 and 40 μM, respectively. The knowledge gained from these studies can be used to further develop more efficient inhibitors.
  • Savolainen, Roosa (2018)
    Liposomes are nano-sized vesicles in which the aqueous phase is surrounded by lipid-derived bilayer. They are excellent drug vehicles for example in ocular drug delivery because they can, among other things, increase the bioavailability and stability of the drug molecules and reduce their toxicity. Liposomes are known to be safe to use, because they degrade within a certain period of time and they are biocompatible with the cells and tissues of the body. Owing to its structure, the surface of liposomes can also be easily modified and functionalized. Light-activated ICG liposomes allow drug release in a controlled manner at a given time and specific site. Their function is based on a small molecule called indocyanine green (ICG) which, after being exposed to laser light, absorbs light energy and thereby locally elevates the temperature of the lipid bilayer. As a result, the drug inside is released into the surroundings. The blood circulation time of liposomes has often been prolonged by coating the liposomes with polyethylene glycol (PEG). Although PEG is generally regarded as a safe and biocompatible polymer, it has been found to increase immunological reactions and PEG-specific antibodies upon repeated dosing. Conversely, hyaluronic acid (HA), is an endogenous polysaccharide, which is present in abundance for instance in vitreous. Thus, it could serve as a stealth coating material which extends the otherwise short half-life of liposomes. One of the main objectives of this thesis was to find out whether HA could be used to coat liposomes instead of PEG. In order to prepare HA-coated liposomes, one of the lipid bilayer phospholipids, DSPE, had to be first conjugated with HA. For the conjugation, potential synthesis protocols were sought from the literature. Ultimately two different reductive amination-based protocols were tested. Consequently, the protocol in which the conjugation was achieved via the aldehyde group of HA, proved to be working. Thereafter, HA-coated liposomes were prepared by thin film hydration from the newly synthesised conjugate as well as DPPC, DSPC and 18:0 Lyso PC. Calcein was encapsulated in the liposomes. HA-covered liposomes were then compared with uncoated and PEGylated liposomes by examining their phase transition temperatures, ICG absorbances, sizes, polydispersities, and both light and heat-induced drug releases. The aforementioned tests were also conducted when the effects of the HA and ICG doubling were examined and the possibility to manufacture HA liposomes with small size was assessed. HA-liposomes showed similar results as PEG-coated liposomes. In addition, successful extrusion of HA-liposomes through a 30 nm membrane was also demonstrated in the results. Doubling of HA did not significantly affect the results. In contrast, increasing the molar amount of ICG by double caused spontaneous calcein leakage even before any heat or light exposure. Based on these findings, HA could work as a coating material instead of PEG, yet further studies are required for ensuring this conclusion. The other key objective was to evaluate the stability of four different formulations, named as AL, AL18, AL16 and AL14, in storage and biological conditions. Based on the differences in the formulation phospholipid composition, the assumption was that AL would be the most stable of the group and that the stability would decrease so that AL18 and AL16 would be the next most stable and eventually AL14 would be the least stable formulation. As in the previous study, the liposomes were prepared by thin film hydration with calcein being encapsulated inside the liposomes. In the storage stability test, liposomes were stored in HEPES buffer at either 4 °C or at room temperature for one month. In the test conducted in physiological conditions, the liposomes were added either to porcine vitreous or fetal bovine serum (FBS) and the samples were incubated at 37 ºC for five days. Regardless of the experiment, phase transition temperatures as well as light and heat-induced drug releases were initially measured. As the test progressed, calcein release, ICG absorbance, size, and polydispersity were measured at each time point. The initial measurements confirmed the hypothesis about the stability differences of tested formulations. In the storage stability test, all formulations, except AL14, appeared to be stable throughout the study and no apparent differences between the formulations or temperatures were observed. On the other hand, the stability of liposomes stored in biological matrices varied so that the liposomes were more stable in vitreous than in FBS and the stability decreased in both media as expected.
  • Savolainen, Heikki (2018)
    Tablet manufacturing requires both high-quality equipment and powder blend with high flowability and compactability and low segregation tendency. The process is complex and tablet formation process still remains not fully understood. Adequate powder flow is a necessity for the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, i.e., powder flowability and flow properties play a great role when designing manufacturing processes for solid dosage forms. As such, the powder characteristics need to be investigated. However, one property is seldom enough to predict the flowability of a powder in specific processes and different test methods need to be used to fully understand the tableting performance of a particular powder. It is crucial to know how the assessed properties reflect the manufacturing conditions. The need for test batches and the use of empirical testing still exists despite the numerous powder characterization tests available. The main aim of the study was to understand the influence of material properties, flow properties and segregation tendencies on both the processability of a formulation during tablet compression and the critical quality attributes, such as mass, tensile strength and dose uniformity of the final drug product. Additionally, testing of an in-line NIR method to observe the homogeneity of the powder inside the force feeder right before the compression step and transmission Raman as an at-line method for tablet content were also evaluated. A number of powder characterization tests were employed in order to fully understand the impact of the formulation on the process performance. Three formulations with different particle size of the active substance and mannitol were used throughout the study. Both the sifting segregation and fluidization segregation tests’ results predicted the formulations’ tabletability particularly well. Fluidization segregation test predicted the changing composition of the formulation throughout tableting whereas sifting segregation results showed the constantly fluctuating API concentration in the manufactured tablets. Moreover, the Raman results confirmed the tablets of variable content despite the offset caused by the different particle size of the raw materials used. The functionality of the NIR in the force feeder was tested successfully. The residence time distribution could be determined at a sufficient level to point out tablets of a bad quality from the batch on grounds of the NIR data. Results from the powder flow property tests were rather conflicting. Angle of repose, Carr’s index and volume flow rate gave the best characterizing results, whereas the mass flow rate, shear test with higher normal stress in pre-shear gave the worst results, considering the experienced flow character of the formulations. As stated above, different flow property tests may give conflicting result, and hence, it is crucial to know which results are the most relevant ones. Furthermore, the right settings for the test should be known to gain applicable results, best exemplified by the shear cell test.
  • Karhunen, Emilia (2018)
    Functional in vitro cultured human hepatocytes are needed in different applications in biomedical research. Treatment for liver diseases is usually liver transplantation, but due to the lack of healthy donors, cell therapy using hepatocytes is considered as a better option. Drug industry will also need representative liver models to test metabolic profiles of drug molecules. Primary human hepatocytes are studied in cell therapy and disease modelling, but they have also drawbacks. In vitro they do not proliferate efficiently, and they are short-lived. In vitro differentiated human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to hepatic fate are an alternative for the primary human hepatocytes. Especially human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are widely studied because they are easily available, and they even make personalized therapy possible without problems with ethical issues related to the human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Differentiation to hepatic fate includes several steps before mature functional hepatocyte-like cells are formed. Hepatocytes are derived from the definitive endoderm (DE) which is one of the germ layers formed in the gastrulation process. Efficient induction of hPSCs into DE lineage would be a good starting point for generating mature hepatocyte-like cells in further hepatic differentiation. Different protocols to differentiate hPSCs in vitro into DE have been published. In vitro cell culture systems should well represent the environment of the target tissue because signals from the environment guide the differentiation. Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems are widely studied, because they better mimic the in vivo microenvironment of cells than two-dimensional (2D) cell culture. The aim of the thesis was to study the efficacy of the 3D differentiation of hiPSCs into DE. Before starting the 3D differentiation, differentiation protocol was optimized and the effect of ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 was investigated. Differentiation medium was supplemented with Y-27632 during the whole 6 days differentiation, because survival of the cells and formation of the spheroids were improved, and gene expression studies of pluripotency markers and several DE markers did not show evident effect of Y-27632 on the gene expression of hiPSCs. The main objective in the studies was also to investigate possible differences between different 3D culture conditions on hiPSCs differentiation into DE. Also, the effect of the spheroid size on differentiation was examined. Two different hydrogels were used as a matrix material in the experiments: basement membrane extract (BME) and nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) hydrogels. Suspension culture was used as a biomaterial-free 3D culture system. Experiments were performed with three spheroid sizes: 200 cells/spheroid, 500 cells/spheroid and 1000 cells/spheroid. Efficacy of differentiation to DE lineage was estimated by studying protein and mRNA expression of some of the DE markers (HNF3B, SOX17, CXCR4, CER1), pluripotency marker OCT4, mesendoderm marker Brachyury and hepatoblast marker HNF4A in the cells. Spheroids differentiated in suspension and NFC were analysed by flow cytometry to get the number of DE positive live cells and dead cells using CXCR4 and 7-AAD double staining. Besides flow cytometry, protein expression of some of the key markers were studied by immunofluorescent staining and further confocal imaging. Viability of the spheroids in BME hydrogel culture were investigated using live/dead staining followed by confocal imaging. BME hydrogel culture was left out from the further experiments due to the morphology of the spheroids and results from viability and protein expression studies. Spheroids in suspension started DE differentiation faster compared to NFC culture. Suspension and NFC cultures yielded high number of double positive cells in flow cytometry and bright fluorescence of other DE markers was seen in the confocal images. NFC hydrogel proved to be a promising 3D culture system by supporting the differentiation of hiPSCs. Flow cytometry results and gene expression studies propose that four days long 3D differentiation would be efficient to produce sufficient number of DE cells. Smaller spheroids showed higher number of DE positive cells than bigger spheroids on day 2 but gene expression studies showed difference in DE marker expression between size conditions rather in later days in differentiation and it was the opposite. Experiments showed signs of more efficient differentiation of the smaller sized spheroids in the beginning of differentiation. But further studies are needed to verify the obtained results and both draw conclusions about the possible differences between different 3D culture systems and explore the best size of the spheroid for hepatic differentiation. However, results obtained from the studies are useful for designing further experiments.
  • Lehtola, Minna (2018)
    Tramadol products for cats are not commercially available. Problems may occur when dividing a tablet registered for humans due to uneven distribution of active ingredient within a tablet and bitter taste of tramadol. Minitablets have multiple benefits, including small size, better uniformity of content, coatability and fast administration, in comparison to a divided conventional tablet. The purpose of this study was to develop minitablets which are possible to coat with a taste masking coating. Physical and chemical properties of tramadol hydrochloride, such as water solubility, temperature behavior and hygroscopicity were studied. Additionally, compatibility of tramadol hydrochloride with excipients was studied by a 3-month stability exam. The pre-tests of granulation were carried out by using lactose or ascorbic acid as an active ingredient to model tramadol hydrochloride. The granulation was performed with high shear granulator and tableting with a rotary tablet press. The only variable factor between the granulation batches was the amount of granulation fluid. The impact of the amount of granulation fluid to the tableting properties was examined by determining particle size distribution, Carr index and Hausner ratio. Uniformity of mass, uniformity of content, hardness, disintegration time and dissolution were examined. The study revealed that tramadol hydrochloride did not have incompatibilities with the examined excipients. Tramadol hydrochloride was not hygroscopic even though it was found out to be freely soluble in water. Tablets with adequate hardness were successfully compressed of both granulated masses and the direct compression mass. However, the direct compression mass had more undesirable properties regarding the processes. Most batches fulfilled the requirements set for uniformity of mass and uniformity of content. Although the purpose of this study was to develop a tablet for veterinary medicine, the results in this study may be utilized in developing a formulation for pediatric medicine.
  • Valle, Jenni (2018)
    Gut inflammation and permeability is speculated to play a major role in the pathophysiology of several human diseases. Signs of a low-grade gut inflammation in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have been found. Focus of this study was to understand the role of gut inflammation and increased gut permeability in the development of diabetic complications, especially nephropathy. Approximately, one-third of Finnish patients with T1D develop kidney disease during their lifetime. Inflammatory mechanisms may have an essential role in the pathophysiology of the disease. Lipopolysaccharide, LPS, is found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. LPS activates innate immune system and triggers the activation of inflammatory cytokines, neutrophils and macrophages as well as many pathophysiological processes in vivo, for instance fever and endotoxic shock. Aim of this study was to establish a zebrafish gut inflammation model using fluorophore conjugated endotoxin, LPS. We hypothesized that delivery of LPS in addition to EDTA in the gut of zebrafish triggers inflammation and increased gut permeability which may lead to leakage of LPS to blood stream and potentially kidney injury. This novel zebrafish inflammation model could possibly be used for studying the pathophysiological mechanisms of gut inflammation and possible kidney injury as well as for screening new anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, this animal model can be used for studying intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) in reducing gut permeability and LPS-mediated kidney damage. IAP is an enzyme produced in small-intestinal epithelium. IAP can detoxify several bacterial endotoxins including LPS and thus protect against the induction of intestinal inflammation. LPS and EDTA were delivered in the gut of 6 days old zebrafish larvae using microgavage injection. Fluorescence microscopy imaging of live zebrafish enabled following the same individual at different timepoints after injections. Paraffin sectioning of the small larvae was promising for investigating the morphology and permeability of the gut as well as possible immunostaining for detection of IAP. L-phenylalanine was used for inhibition of IAP enzyme. Using the novel method of microinjection to gut on zebrafish larvae the timing and amount of delivered materials to gut can be controlled well. The anatomy and function of the gut in zebrafish is very similar to small intestine of mammals and the highly developed vertebrate immune system makes zebrafish an interesting model organism for studying gut inflammation and permeability. In addition, inflammatory processes can be visualized in live, intact transparent zebrafish larvae. However, the technique has a lot of challenges including small size of the fish and possible tissue damage of the fish while performing injection. More experiments need to be carried out to establish the model for drug screening. Also, along with microscopy images, a more precise way for quantification the gut permeability is needed. Based on the images it’s not yet possible to conclude whether LPS increased gut permeability or if IAP inhibition with L-phenylalanine worked in zebrafish larvae. Using adult zebrafish in the future will give more information about the chronic gut inflammation and development of possible kidney injury.