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Prof. Fabio Marchetti, Dr. Lorenzo Biancalana 

Title of the PhD project:
Tuning the redox activity of anticancer diiron complexes via derivatization of bridging hydrocarbyl ligands

Abstract of the PhD project:
The wide bio-distribution of iron makes its compounds suitable candidates for drug development. Although the anticancer activity of several monoiron species has been intensively investigated, the potential of diiron complexes, featuring undoubtable advantages with respect to the monometallic homologues, was unexplored until very recently.
The easily available and inexpensive [Fe2Cp2(CO)4] is a convenient starting material to obtain robust derivatives. The cooperative effects between the two adjacent metal atoms and the availability of multisite coordination sites allow unusual reactivity pathways for the construction and stabilization of a variety of organometallic motifs. In particular, cationic complexes with a bridging vinyliminium ligand are versatile substrates that offer a wide structural variability, thus providing much opportunity for functionalization. Moreover, they display desirable features for drug candidates, such as air stability, significant water stability and appreciable solubility in aqueous media. The cytotoxicity of some of these complexes is ascribable to their redox properties and can be modulated with an appropriate choice of the substituents.
The main target of this PhD project is the synthesis and the biological evaluation of new suitably-designed diiron vinyliminium complexes with optimized anticancer activity.

• C. Saviozzi, S. Stocchetti, G. Bresciani, L. Biancalana, G. Pampaloni, F. Marchetti; Adding Diversity to Diiron Aminocarbyne Complexes with Amine Ligands. Inorganics 2023, 11(3), 91. doi:10.3390/inorganics11030091
• R. Colaiezzi, C. Saviozzi, N. di Nicola, S. Zacchini, G. Pampaloni, M. Crucianelli, F. Marchetti, A. di Giuseppe, L. Biancalana; Ruthenium(ii) arene complexes bearing simple dioxime ligands: effective catalysts for the one-pot transfer hydrogenation/N-methylation of nitroarenes with methanol. Catal. Sci. Technol. 2023, 13, 2160-2183. doi: 10.1039/D3CY00218G
• S. Schoch, G. Bresciani, C. Saviozzi, T. Funaioli, M. Bortoluzzi, G. Pampaloni, F. Marchetti; Iminium Substituent Addresses Cyanide and Hydride Additions to Triiron Vinyliminium Complexes. New J Chem 2023, 47, 8828. doi: 10.1039/D2NJ05810C
• C. Saviozzi, L. Biancalana, T. Funaioli, M. Bortoluzzi, M. De Franco, M. Guelfi, V. Gandin, F. Marchetti; Triiron Complex with N-Ferrocenyl Aminocarbyne Ligand Bridging a Diiron Core: DFT, Electrochemical, and Biological Insights. Inorg. Chem. 2024, 63, 2, 1054–1067. doi: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c03408

Oral communications at conferences:
• “New Trinuclear Iron Complexes with Potential Anticancer Activity: Synthesis and Characterization”, C. Saviozzi, L. Biancalana, G. Pampaloni, S. Zacchini, M. Bortoluzzi, F. Marchetti. XVIII PhD Day, CIRCC meeting (Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Reattività Chimiche e la Catalisi), Alghero (SS), 28/4/2022.
• “New Triiron Complexes via Incorporation of Isocyanoferrocene in a Diiron Scaffold”, C. Saviozzi, L. Biancalana, T. Funaioli, M. Bortoluzzi, M. De Franco, V. Gandin, F. Marchetti. 49° Congresso Nazionale di Chimica Inorganica, Perugia, 12-15/9/2023.

Poster communications at conferences:
• “Trinuclear Iron Complexes for Biological Applications”, C. Saviozzi, L. Biancalana, G. Pampaloni, S. Zacchini, M. Bortoluzzi, F. Marchetti. CFF 2022 – Chemistry for the Future, Pisa, 29/6/2022 – 1/7/2022.
• “New ferrocenyl-decorated diiron iminium complexes”, C. Saviozzi, L. Biancalana, G. Pampaloni, S. Zacchini, M. Bortoluzzi, F. Marchetti. XLVIII Congresso Nazionale di Chimica Inorganica, Pisa, 6-9/9/2022.
• “New N-ferrocenyl Aminocarbyne Iron Complexes”, C. Saviozzi, L. Biancalana, T. Funaioli, M. Bortoluzzi, M. de Franco, V. Gandin, F. Marchetti. XIV International School of Organometallic Chemistry, Camerino (MC), 7-11/9/2023. Poster and flash presentation.

Other achievements:


Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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