METOR- Chimica Organometallica

Francesco Ruffo

Room 2N-47; phone +39-081-674543 Email ruffo@unina.it;

https://www.docenti.unina.it/francesco.ruffo

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1624-079X

Maria Elena Cucciolito

Room 2N-43; phone +39-081-674308 Email cuccioli@unina.it;

https://www.docenti.unina.it/mariaelena.cucciolito

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4964-1047

Research:

Precision design of metal complexes with improved biological activity

Catalytic conversion of vegetable oils into biofuels and biochemical

Precision design of metal complexes with improved biological activity

An important application of coordination chemistry is the design and the synthesis of metal complexes with biological activity. The properties of the compounds can be controlled through the wide choice of metals, oxidation states, coordination numbers and respective geometries. Furthermore the introduction of tumor-targeting fragments into metal drugs can be a useful strategy to improve the selectivity. Within this context, our group is investigating gold(I) and platinum(II) complexes, containing modular sugar ligands. The sugar portion is widely tunable through the introduction of targeted R substituents, an option useful to control key-properties of the complexes. The linkage to the metals is realized either through nitrogen donor functions or directly via a C-glicosyl bonded carbon, an option that helps to control also the stability of the species against speciation in solution. The cytotoxic activity of the complexes, evaluated on different cell lines, demonstrates the feasibility of the approach.

 

Selected publications:

  • Maria Elena Cucciolito, Raffaella Del Litto, Francesco Paolo Fanizzi, Danilo Migoni, Giuseppina Roviello, Francesco Ruffo, ‘Hydrophilic ligands derived from glucose: Synthesis, characterization and in vitro cytotoxic activity on cancer cells of Pt(II) complexes' Inorganica Chimica Acta (2010), 363(4), 741-747.
  • Maria Elena Cucciolito, Marina Trinchillo, Roberta Iannitti, Rosanna Palumbo, Diego Tesauro, Angela Tuzi, Francesco Ruffo, Angela D'Amora, ‘Sugar-Incorporated N-Heterocyclic-Carbene-Containing Gold(I) Complexes: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cytotoxic Evaluation' European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2017), 2017(42), 4955-4961.
  • Maria Elena Cucciolito, Angela D'Amora, Gianmarco De Feo, Giarita Ferraro, Anna Giorgio, Ganna Petruk, Daria Maria Monti, Antonello Merlino, Francesco Ruffo, ‘Five-Coordinate Platinum(II) Compounds Containing Sugar Ligands: Synthesis, Characterization, Cytotoxic Activity, and Interaction with Biological Macromolecules' Inorganic Chemistry (2018), 57(6), 3133-3143.

Catalytic conversion of vegetable oils into biofuels and biochemical  

Vegetable oils are versatile components of biomass and possess functional groups useful for many industrial applications. They are chemically similar to the aliphatic fraction of petroleum, rich of saturated and unsaturated chains. Accordingly, the activity within this frame is centred on their catalytic transformation, according to the following: - trans-esterification/esterification, for producing biofuels and biochemicals. - oxidative cleavage of the double bond of the unsaturated fatty chains, for obtaining diacids (eg azelaic acid). - conversion of residual glycerol into valuable chemicals. The project aims to prepare catalytic systems for the realization of the processes with low energy consumption and reduced environmental impact. Particular attention is paid to the development of catalysts that allow the use of raw materials of low quality, such as waste oils. Furthermore, to eliminate the problems related to corrosion, toxicity and purification of the reaction products, it is also studied their heterogeneization on matrix, in order to favour separation and recycling.

Selected publications:

  • Martino Di Serio, Giuseppina Carotenuto, Maria Elena Cucciolito, Matteo Lega, Francesco Ruffo, Riccardo Tesser, Marco Trifuoggi, ‘Shiff base complexes of zinc(II) as catalysts for biodiesel production' J. Mol. Catal. A (2012), 106, 353–354.
  • Vincenzo Benessere, Maria E. Cucciolito, Giovanni Dal Poggetto, Martino Di Serio, Manuel López Granados, Francesco Ruffo, Aldo Vitagliano, Rosa Vitiello, ‘Strategies for immobilizing homogeneous zinc catalysts in biodiesel production' Catal. Commun. (2014), 56, 81-85.
  • Vincenzo Benessere, Maria E. Cucciolito, Augusta De Santis, Martino Di Serio, Roberto Esposito, Francesco Ruffo, Rosa Turco, ‘A sustainable process for the production of azelaic acid through oxidative cleavage of oleic acid' J. Am. Oil. Chem. Soc. (2015), 92, 1701-1707.
  • Vincenzo Benessere, Maria E. Cucciolito, Martino Di Serio, Roberto Esposito, Matteo Lega, Francesco Ruffo, Rosa Turco, ‘A novel and robust homogeneous supported catalyst for biodiesel production' Fuel (2016), 171, 1-4.
  • Maria Elena Cucciolito, Angela D'Amora, Roberto Esposito, Rossella Di Guida, Fabio Montagnaro, Francesco Ruffo, ‘Highly efficient iron(III) molecular catalysts for solketal production' Fuel Process. Technol. (2017), 167, 670-673.