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- PublicationClassification and biological identity of complex nano shapes(Springer, 2020-06-12)Everywhere in our surroundings we increasingly come in contact with nanostructures that have distinctive complex shape features on a scale comparable to the particle itself. Such shape ensembles can be made by modern nano-synthetic methods and many industrial processes. With the ever growing universe of nanoscale shapes, names such as “nanoflowers” and “nanostars” no longer precisely describe or characterise the distinct nature of the particles. Here we capture and digitise particle shape information on the relevant size scale and create a condensed representation in which the essential shape features can be captured, recognized and correlated. We find the natural emergence of intrinsic shape groups as well-defined ensemble distributions and show how these may be analyzed and interpreted to reveal novel aspects of our nanoscale shape environment. We show how these ideas may be applied to the interaction between the nanoscale-shape and the living universe and provide a conceptual framework for the study of nanoscale shape biological recognition and identity.
106Scopus© Citations 20
- PublicationCurrent understanding of biological identity at the nanoscale and future prospects(Springer Nature, 2021-03)Nanoscale objects are processed by living organisms using highly evolved and sophisticated endogenous cellular networks, specifically designed to manage objects of this size. While these processes potentially allow nanostructures unique access to and control over key biological machineries, they are also highly protected by cell or host defence mechanisms at all levels. A thorough understanding of bionanoscale recognition events, including the molecules involved in the cell recognition machinery, the nature of information transferred during recognition processes and the coupled downstream cellular processing, would allow us to achieve a qualitatively novel form of biological control and advanced therapeutics. Here we discuss evolving fundamental microscopic and mechanistic understanding of biological nanoscale recognition. We consider the interface between a nanostructure and a target cell membrane, outlining the categories of nanostructure properties that are recognized, and the associated nanoscale signal transduction and cellular programming mechanisms that constitute biological recognition.
93Scopus© Citations 44
- PublicationUnderstanding intracellular nanoparticle trafficking fates through spatiotemporally resolved magnetic nanoparticle recovery(Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021-03-03)The field of nanomedicine has the potential to be a game-changer in global health, with possible applications in prevention, diagnostics, and therapeutics. However, despite extensive research focus and funding, the forecasted explosion of novel nanomedicines is yet to materialize. We believe that clinical translation is ultimately hampered by a lack of understanding of how nanoparticles really interact with biological systems. When placed in a biological environment, nanoparticles adsorb a biomolecular layer that defines their biological identity. The challenge for bionanoscience is therefore to understand the evolution of the interactions of the nanoparticle–biomolecules complex as the nanoparticle is trafficked through the intracellular environment. However, to progress on this route, scientists face major challenges associated with isolation of specific intracellular compartments for analysis, complicated by the diversity of trafficking events happening simultaneously and the lack of synchronization between individual events. In this perspective article, we reflect on how magnetic nanoparticles can help to tackle some of these challenges as part of an overall workflow and act as a useful platform to investigate the bionano interactions within the cell that contribute to this nanoscale decision making. We discuss both established and emerging techniques for the magnetic extraction of nanoparticles and how they can potentially be used as tools to study the intracellular journey of nanomaterials inside the cell, and their potential to probe nanoscale decision-making events. We outline the inherent limitations of these techniques when investigating particular bio-nano interactions along with proposed strategies to improve both specificity and resolution. We conclude by describing how the integration of magnetic nanoparticle recovery with sophisticated analysis at the single-particle level could be applied to resolve key questions for this field in the future.
104Scopus© Citations 3
- PublicationImaging approach to mechanistic study of nanoparticle interactions with the blood-brain barrier(ACS, 2014-05-27)Understanding nanoparticle interactions with the central nervous system, in particular the blood-brain barrier, is key to advances in therapeutics, as well as assessing the safety of nanoparticles. Challenges in achieving insights have been significant, even for relatively simple models. Here we use a combination of live cell imaging and computational analysis to directly study nanoparticle translocation across a human in vitro blood-brain barrier model. This approach allows us to identify and avoid problems in more conventional inferential in vitro measurements by identifying the catalogue of events of barrier internalization and translocation as they occur. Potentially this approach opens up the window of applicability of in vitro models, thereby enabling in depth mechanistic studies in the future. Model nanoparticles are used to illustrate the method. For those, we find that translocation, though rare, appears to take place. On the other hand, barrier uptake is efficient, and since barrier export is small, there is significant accumulation within the barrier. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
174Scopus© Citations 97
- PublicationMapping protein binding sites on the biomolecular corona of nanoparticles(Springer Nature, 2015-03-30)Nanoparticles in a biological milieu are known to form a sufficiently long-lived and well-organized 'corona' of biomolecules to confer a biological identity to the particle. Because this nanoparticle-biomolecule complex interacts with cells and biological barriers, potentially engaging with different biological pathways, it is important to clarify the presentation of functional biomolecular motifs at its interface. Here, we demonstrate that by using antibody-labelled gold nanoparticles, differential centrifugal sedimentation and various imaging techniques it is possible to identify the spatial location of proteins, their functional motifs and their binding sites. We show that for transferrin-coated polystyrene nanoparticles only a minority of adsorbed proteins exhibit functional motifs and the spatial organization appears random, which is consistent, overall, with a stochastic and irreversible adsorption process. Our methods are applicable to a wide array of nanoparticles and can offer a microscopic molecular description of the biological identity of nanoparticles.
262Scopus© Citations 274