Soft Condensed Matter Group

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Nanoparticle-Cell Interactions

The interaction of nanoparticles with living cells is important with respect to both nanomedicine as well as nanotoxicity. We study various aspects of nanoparticles (NPs). The transport of NPs in biopolymer solutions, the adsorption of proteins to NPs, the uptake of NPs by cells and the interference of NPs with cellular signalling and cell death.

Kinetics models for Nanoparticles interaction with plasma proteins

Silvia Milani and Joachim Rädler

In a biological fluid, the surface of nanoparticles (NPs) is immediately modified by the adsorption of proteins, or other biomolecules, leading to the formation of a “protein corona”. This shell of biomolecules defines the real physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles: it determines the nanoparticles stability, and drives the uptake into the cells. Yet despite its role a comprehensive knowledge of the binding mechanisms and of the dependence of the protein corona on nanomaterial properties is still incomplete.

Here we use fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to quantitatively analyse and model the adsorption of plasma proteins on different nanoparticle surfaces. Moreover, in order to understand the evolution of the protein corona as the nanoparticle moves from one biological environment to another, desorption kinetics in presence of competitive plasma proteins are also studied.

This work is funded by the EU-FP7 project: NanoTransKinetics