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The environmental fate of pharmaceuticals of concern: experimental and computational study of degradation products and their ecotoxicological properties

Project type
Znanstveno-istraživački projekti
Programme
Research Projects
Financier
Croatian Science Foundation
Start date
Dec 29th 2023
End date
Dec 28th 2027
Status
Active
Total cost
162917 EUR

The chemical fate of pharmaceuticals is an important scientific, environmental and public health topic. The accepted term “pharmaecology" includes the knowledge of the chemical transformations of the drug induced by environmental conditions and the determination of the ecotoxicological properties of the degradation products. Among the many factors that determine the chemical fate of a drug, water chlorination and the sunlight irradiation are of special importance. In this project, the mechanisms of chlorination and photochemically induced reactions of selected drugs are investigated. The selection of a small library of drugs (eg. gemfibrozil, metformin or fluorouracil) is based on the pillars defining priority candidates for the 4th Watch List, which is in accordance with the Water Framework Directive. Research into the chemical and ecological profile of drugs includes an interdisciplinary approach, institutional cooperation and methodological synergy. As part of the project, collaborators from five different scientific institutions (8 departments, 2 countries) will use advanced spectroscopic techniques (NMR/EPR) for in situ monitoring of chemical reactions, preparative tools (LC-MS) for product isolation, and ecotoxicological assays on test organisms using standardized and accredited methods. The experimental part of the research will be supported by the intensive use of computational techniques (ab initio, DFT theoretical levels) that enable prediction and interpretation of measured data. This integration of different approaches can serve other researchers as an orientation for the redesign or implementation of new concepts for testing the chemical fate of drugs in the environment. The results on the chemical fate of the selected candidates (chemical content of the reaction mixture and ecotoxicological status of individual products) will be a contribution to the constant effort of authority institutions to supplement official databases with missing information.

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