Marco Soto
Phone: (56-2) 2354 4396
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Associate Professor
PhD in Sciences with specialization in Chemistry
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, 1998



The Biocolloids and Biointerfaces Laboratory is focused on the study of the physicochemical and biophysical properties of lipid bilayers or biological membrane models, using as study systems, large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) or liposomes composed of different types of phospholipids. Our purpose, is study of lipid-protein/peptides and lipid/cholesterol interactions, research that was supported by the Fondecyt project 1070320/2007 "Dynamics of nanoseconds in Na, K-ATPase: Role of lipid domains segregated in their conformational flexibility and function" and by the International Project PCCI 212/2008 "Characterization of Mixed Bilayers of DPPC and DODAB for the Immobilization of Peptides or Proteins of Membranes and for the Coating of Particles". In addition, is our interest to evaluate the flux and transport of different molecules through the lipid bilayer in the presence and in the absence of transmembrane channels, as well as, the effect of cholesterol in the formation of segregated domains and in the oxidation processes of the lipid bilayers, research supported by the Fondecyt projects 1130867/2013 "Studies on the diffusion of small solutes through lipids bilayers in unilamellar liposomes" and Fondecyt 1130358/2013 "The relevance of the delivery vehicle in the efficiency of the photosensitizer in the study of the light mediated effects in biological systems ".

Foto Investigación Marco SotoThe studies have also focused on determining how different liposomes or lipid vesicles, in the presence of cholesterol and other additives, determine the encapsulation, transport and delivery of biologically active molecules. For this purpose, the aim is to study the different systems that allow the stabilization and functionalization of lipid vesicles or liposomes to be used as biological molecules transport systems. In this line of research, we are focused on studying the stabilization of lipid vesicles with biodegradable and biocompatible amphipathic copolymers, research that has been supported by the Fondecyt project 1141012/2014 "Stabilization of large unilamellar vesicles with amphipathic di-block and tri-block copolymers for drug delivery" and the Fondef project D11I-1098/2013 "New Pharmacological Formulation for the Treatment and Prevention of Arterial Hypertension and Vascular Dysfunction: Integrated Response to a Multifactorial Pathology ".

Currently, we are focused on studying different liposome model systems for encapsulation and anti-neoplastic drugs delivery, and study the synergistic effect of pro-apoptotic lipids used in the preparation of liposomes, as well as, lipid produced in situ, by phospholipase A2 and sphingomyelinase activities over-expressed in tumor cell lines. This research is supported by the Fondecyt projects 1160443/2016 "Biosupramolecular assemblies for targeted drug delivery in photodynamic therapy" and Fondecyt 1171047/2017 "Liposome-based drug-delivery systems: Different strategies to evaluate the synergic effect between pro-apoptotic lipids and encapsulated anticancer drug". Furthermore, we are assisting the studies of protein insertion in supported lipid bilayers for their application as nano and biosensors, which are supported by the Fondecyt projects 3160803/2016 "Study of the behavior of proteins in artificial phospholipid membranes as prototypes of biosensors", and 1180939/2018, “Protein insertion in artificial membranes deposited from the vapor phase: From biophysical functionality to nanosensor applications”.

In addition, it is our interest to study the stabilization of liposome systems with biopolymers such as chitosan, alginate or oligosaccharides for the encapsulation of probiotics, which have been widely used in the food industry.