Currently biologically active additives containing inorganic selenium, mainly sodium selenite, are used to combat selenium deficiency. At the same time organic selenium compounds are less toxic, more bioavailable and better assimilated by living organisms than inorganic ones. Therefore scientific developments of NNSTU Department of Industrial Safety, Ecology and Chemistry are aimed at synthesis and use of organic forms of selenium in order to prevent selenium deficiency and a number of the other diseases (white muscle disease, necrosis and fatty degeneration of liver, exudative diathesis, encephalomalacia).
The Department develops chemistry of organoselenium compounds in terms of using of these compounds as protectors of biological damage. This is due to the fact that selenium is an important element for living organisms, since selenoproteins are involved in redox regulation of intracellular signal transmission pathways, maintaining redox homeostasis and in metabolism of thyroid hormones.
Today a series of hard-to-reach and little-studied classes of substances are synthesized and biotested to find new types of protectors for microbial biodegradation of industrial materials, preparative methods are developed for synthesis of stable selenium-containing organic compounds that can be used as antioxidants, anticancer and anti-infectious agents, immunomodulators and drugs for effective prevention and treatment of selenium deficiency using low-toxic organoselenium compounds.