Fullerene Nanomedicine to Enhance Neuronal Adenosine Triphosphate Production Capacity
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AbstractCognitive performances are significantly reduced for older soldiers, due to the reduced production of the primary energy molecule of the body - adenosine triphosphate. The aging-dependent mitochondrial insufficiency is thought to play a dominating role. The development of a therapeutic drug which can enhance ATP production and improve energetic capability is crucial to maintain soldiers' performance and extend their duty-time. The current attempts to counter mitochondrial insufficiency include frequent exercise and antioxidants, but the effects are very limited. Luna Innovations proposes to use nanomedicine technology to develop prototype compounds with stimulatory effects on neuronal ATP production. Luna has developed an extensive portfolio of fullerene nanosphere compounds which showed promises in treating aging-related diseases. Fullerene nanospheres are thought to scavenge the toxic free radicals generated in mitochondria, enhance the electron transport capacity in oxidative phosphorylation, and build a greater potential gradient across the inner membrane, efficiently driving ATP Synthase. In Phase I, Luna will develop and validate a high throughput screening assay based on the ATP-requiring luciferin-luciferase bioluminescence, and test nanosphere compounds to build a structure-activity relationship for designing and testing more compounds in Phase II.
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