Pharmacy: Albert Wuokko Award for junior scholars in 2018 bestowed to Mónica Ferreira

Mónica Ferreira has developed nanosystems based on porous silicon and dextran, applicable in the treatment of myocardial infarction.

This year, the Finnish Pharmaceutical Society has granted the Albert Wuokko Award for junior scholars to Mónica Ferreira, Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmacy), for her doctoral dissertation. The award sum is €4,000. The Albert Wuokko Award is the single most prestigious pharmaceutical award in Finland.

Mónica Ferreira completed her dissertation at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Helsinki. In her work, she developed nanosystems based on porous silicon and dextran that can be applied in the treatment of myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction is a pathological state resulting in sudden death or heart failure, with no current curative treatment that could restore the function of an injured heart.

According to the study, the administration during myocardial infarction of nano-sized silicon particles with functionalized surfaces suggested a protective effects of the hearts of laboratory animals from further tissue damage, while dextran-based nanoparticle systems carrying two pharmacological substances were proven in laboratory experiments to have an effect on cellular effects involved in the reprogramming of fibroblasts, or cells occurring in connective tissue, to cardiomyocytes, or heart muscle cells.

The dissertation has provided significant new information on the application potential of nanoparticle technologies in treating myocardial infarction.

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