New Collaborative Research Article in Nanomaterials (IF: 5.719)

Please check our new research article published in Nanomaterials (IF 5.719), a collaborative effort of BioSIM with the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto, and with the Centers of Physics and Chemistry of the University of Minho on the development of liposomal formulations loaded with a eugenol derivative for application as insecticides. 

Liposomal Formulations Loaded with a Eugenol Derivative for Application as Insecticides: Encapsulation Studies and In Silico Identification of Protein Targets

Maria José G. Fernandes, Renato B. Pereira, Ana Rita O. Rodrigues, Tatiana F. Vieira, A. Gil Fortes, David M. Pereira, Sérgio F. Sousa, M. Sameiro T. Gonçalves, Elisabete M. S. Castanheira

Nanomaterials | DOI: 10.3390/nano12203583


A recently synthesized new eugenol derivative, ethyl 4-(2-methoxy-4-(oxiran-2-ylmethyl)phenoxy)butanoate, with a high insecticidal activity against Sf9 (Spodoptera frugiperda) insect cells, was encapsulated in the liposomal formulations of egg-phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol (Egg-PC:Ch) 70:30 and 100% dioleoylphosphatidylglycerol (DOPG), aiming at the future application as insecticides. Compound-loaded DOPG liposomes have sizes of 274 ± 12 nm, while Egg-PC:Ch liposomes exhibit smaller hydrodynamic diameters (69.5 ± 7 nm), high encapsulation efficiency (88.8 ± 2.7%), higher stability, and a more efficient compound release, thus, they were chosen for assays in Sf9 insect cells. The compound elicited a loss of cell viability up to 80% after 72 h of incubation. Relevantly, nanoencapsulation maintained the toxicity of the compound toward insect cells while lowering the toxicity toward human cells, thus showing the selectivity of the system. Structure-based inverted virtual screening was used to predict the most likely targets and molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations were used to demonstrate that this molecule can form a stable complex with insect odorant binding proteins and/or acetylcholinesterase. The results are promising for the future application of compound-loaded nanoliposome formulations as crop insecticides

Leave a comment