Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Current 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.
      211Scopus© Citations 94
  • Publication
    A Three-Dimensional Cell Culture Platform for Long Time-Scale Observations of Bio-Nano Interactions
    We know surprisingly little about the long-term outcomes for nanomaterials interacting with organisms. To date, most of what we know is derived from in vivo studies that limit the range of materials studied and the scope of advanced molecular biology tools applied. Long-term in vitro nanoparticle studies are hampered by a lack of suitable models, as standard cell culture techniques present several drawbacks, while technical limitations render current three-dimensional (3D) cellular spheroid models less suited. Now, by controlling the kinetic processes of cell assembly and division in a non-Newtonian culture medium, we engineer reproducible cell clusters of controlled size and phenotype, leading to a convenient and flexible long-term 3D culture that allows nanoparticle studies over many weeks in an in vitro setting. We present applications of this model for the assessment of intracellular polymeric and silica nanoparticle persistence and found that hydrocarbon-based polymeric nanoparticles undergo no apparent degradation over long time periods with no obvious biological impact, while amorphous silica nanoparticles degrade at different rates over several weeks, depending on their synthesis method.
      597Scopus© Citations 7
  • Publication
    Ultrathin Silicon Membranes for in Situ Optical Analysis of Nanoparticle Translocation across a Human Blood-Brain Barrier Model
    Here we present a blood-brain barrier (BBB) model that enables high-resolution imaging of nanoparticle (NP) interactions with endothelial cells and the capture of rare NP translocation events. The enabling technology is an ultrathin silicon nitride (SiN) membrane (0.5 μm pore size, 20% porosity, 400 nm thickness) integrated into a dual-chamber platform that facilitates imaging at low working distances (∼50 μm). The platform, the μSiM-BBB (microfluidic silicon membrane-BBB), features human brain endothelial cells and primary astrocytes grown on opposite sides of the membrane. The human brain endothelial cells form tight junctions on the ultrathin membranes and exhibit a significantly higher resistance to FITC-dextran diffusion than commercial membranes. The enhanced optical properties of the SiN membrane allow high-resolution live-cell imaging of three types of NPs, namely, 40 nm PS-COOH, 100 nm PS-COOH, and apolipoprotein E-conjugated 100 nm SiO2, interacting with the BBB. Despite the excellent barrier properties of the endothelial layer, we are able to document rare NP translocation events of NPs localized to lysosomal compartments of astrocytes on the "brain side" of the device. Although the translocation is always low, our data suggest that size and targeting ligand are important parameters for NP translocation across the BBB. As a platform that enables the detection of rare transmission across tight BBB layers, the μSiM-BBB is an important tool for the design of nanoparticle-based delivery of drugs to the central nervous system.
      832Scopus© Citations 35
  • Publication
    Classification and biological identity of complex nano shapes
    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.
      292Scopus© Citations 34
  • Publication
    Identification of Receptor Binding to the Biomolecular Corona of Nanoparticles
    Biomolecules adsorbed on nanoparticles are known to confer a biological identity to nanoparticles, mediating the interactions with cells and biological barriers. However, how these molecules are presented on the particle surface in biological milieu remains unclear. The central aim of this study is to identify key protein recognition motifs and link them to specific cell-receptor interactions. Here, we employed an immuno-mapping technique to quantify epitope presentations of two major proteins in the serum corona, low-density lipoprotein and immunoglobulin G. Combining with a purpose-built receptor expression system, we show that both proteins present functional motifs to allow simultaneous recognition by low-density lipoprotein receptor and Fc-gamma receptor I of the corona. Our results suggest that the “labeling” of nanoparticles by biomolecular adsorption processes allows for multiple pathways in biological processes in which they may be “mistaken” for endogenous objects, such as lipoproteins, and exogenous ones, such as viral infections.
      546Scopus© Citations 184
  • Publication
    Differential Recognition of Nanoparticle Protein Corona and Modified Low-Density Lipoprotein by Macrophage Receptor with Collagenous Structure
    Key practical challenges such as understanding the immunological processes at the nanoscale and controlling the targeting and accumulation of nano-objects in vivo now further stimulate efforts to underpin phenomenological knowledge of the nanoscale with more mechanistic and molecular insight. Thus, the question as to what constitutes nanoscale biological identity continues to evolve. Certainly nanoparticles in contact with a complex biological milieu develop a biological identity, differing from the original nanomaterial, now referred to as the "biomolecular corona". However, this surface-adsorbed layer of biomolecules may in some circumstance lead to different forms of receptor-particle interactions not evident only from the identity of the surface-adsorbed biomolecules and hard to predict or detect by current physicochemical methods. Here we show that scavenger receptors may recognize complex as yet unidentified biomolecular surface layer motifs, even when no current physicochemical analysis is capable of doing so. For instance, fluorescently labeled SiO nanoparticles in a biological milieu are strongly recognized by the macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) in even dense biological media (human serum) apparently using a form of binding with which most of the MARCO's known ligands (e.g., LPS, modified LDL) fail to compete. Such observations may suggest the need for a much stronger emphasis on nanoscale receptor-corona and other biomolecular interaction studies if one wishes to unravel how biomolecular recognition drives outcomes in the nanoscale biological domain. 2
    Scopus© Citations 62  131