Formulation and chemical characterization of nanoemulsions to enhance the antiproliferative activity of bioactive essential oils
In this project, nanotechnology and chemical analysis techniques will be used in order to develop, characterize and optimize formulations of essential oils, with the specific aim of enhancing the antiproliferative effect of essential oils already known for their biological activities. Typically, the use of nanotechnology to develop formulations of essential oils with applications in human health is getting popular among researchers looking for promising alternatives for the treatment of various diseases. Anyway, these formulations are usually poorly characterized for their composition. To this end, chemical analysis methods will be developed in this project to perform a qualitative and quantitative control of the volatile profile of the formulations containing the essential oil. The analyses will be fundamental to verify the absence of alterations in the chemical composition or to highlight any changes so as to be able to guarantee its therapeutic efficacy. Different formulations and production processes will be performed with the ultimate goal of maximizing the formulation delivery capacity. Considering that most of the techniques used for the preparation of nanosystems involve heating or evaporation phases of the solvents, which can alterate the chemical profile of the essential oil, it will be crucial to characterize the essential oil before the formulation and immediately after so as to trace the chemical profile of both and to make a comparison. Until now, this aspect has not been much studied. Therefore, the endpoint of this project consists in evaluating the effectiveness of the formulation carried out on the antiproliferative properties of Lavandula x intermedia (lavandin) essential oil whose antibacterial and citotoxic properties have already been highlighted. The physical-chemical properties of the formulations obtained will be investigated as well as the cytotoxic activity of the pure and encapsulated essential oil.