Speaker: Dr. Santimukul Santra
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Pittsburg State University
During COVID-19, Dr. Santra's lab focused on helping society by adopting unique engineering concepts and nanotechnologies for infectious diseases. Some of these include applying high throughput, bioinspired nanoplatforms for tracking viral entry and fusion; chemical approaches to create novel catalytic labels for assessment of protective immunity in response to natural infection and vaccination; and designing tunable polymeric formulations for cancer drug delivery, and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine delivery and management.
This presentation will introduce magnetic relaxation as a new bioanalytical tool to study membrane fusion interactions for enveloped viruses in real-time for screening antiviral therapeutics. Class I viral fusion proteins with specific examples of influenza and SARS-CoV-2 that employ diverse fusion triggering mechanisms including low pH, protease activation, receptor binding, or a combination of these will be discussed. On the other hand, a point-of-care test for assessing COVID-19 vaccine immunity will be included. Recent results on unique catalytic labels and its’ integration in lateral flow assay (LFA) technology that allows visualization of test results with the naked eye will be highlighted in this presentation. Finally, a quick look at their smart design for dendritic biomaterials and responsive nanoplatforms for targeted drug delivery for cancer therapy, which is also used for creating efficient SARS-CoV-2 vaccine formulations. Such vaccine delivery platforms offer unique features of carrying large payloads and importantly, protecting mRNA, and nuclei acids deliverables from nucleases.