Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Interactions between nanoparticles with different surfaces and model biological systems

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.01  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology  Zoology and zoophysiology 

Code Science Field
B360  Biomedical sciences  Animal physiology 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
nanoparticles, nanotechnologies, bio-nano interactions, nanotoxicity, cellular internalisation, tissue assimilation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  06989  PhD Andrej Blejec  Mathematics  Researcher  2014  287 
2.  00691  PhD Andrej Čokl  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  342 
3.  15456  PhD Jasna Dolenc Koce  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  217 
4.  33470  PhD Barbara Drašler  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  45 
5.  11155  PhD Damjana Drobne  Biology  Head  2011 - 2014  859 
6.  11215  PhD Samo Drobne  Geodesy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  875 
7.  04634  PhD Aleš Iglič  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2011 - 2014  960 
8.  33030  PhD Doron Kabaso  Physics  Researcher  2011 - 2012  26 
9.  05916  PhD Veronika Kralj Iglič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2012 - 2014  863 
10.  27526  PhD Maruša Lokar  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2014  37 
11.  33175  PhD Sara Novak  Biology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2013  105 
12.  31231  PhD Jernej Polajnar  Biology  Researcher  2012 - 2013  136 
13.  31673  Roman Štukelj  Sport  Researcher  2012 - 2014  117 
14.  29375  PhD Vid Šuštar  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  75 
15.  18846  Barbara Trobec    Technical associate  2011 - 2014  45 
16.  34203  PhD Ekaterina Yurieva Gongadze  Neurobiology  Researcher  2011 - 2013  72 
17.  28362  PhD Jernej Zupanc  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2011 - 2013  39 
18.  24937  PhD Alenka Žunič Kosi  Biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  114 
Organisations (6)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,305 
2.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  46,268 
3.  0382  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Health Sciences  LJUBLJANA  1627155  14,264 
4.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,546 
5.  0792  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering  Ljubljana  1626981  26,289 
6.  1538  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering  Ljubljana  1626965  27,588 
The research proposed in the project is based on the review published by Dawson in Nature Nanotechnology (2009). He commented on the interesting results obtained by Granick and his colleagues published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA where they provided some new considerations on interactions between nanoparticles and biological membranes. Granick and his colleagues reported that nanoparticles can actively modulate the phase structure of lipid membranes so that the stiffness of the membrane is not uniform. This variation in stiffness is functionally important for material and sensor applications, and the findings could also have broader implications for an understanding of nanoparticle-cell interactions and related safety issues (Dawson et al. 2009). The possibility was discussed of directed physical interactions between nanoparticles and cell membranes.   The objective of the proposed project is to design experiments in which nanoparticle- lipid membranes will be studied. The proposed project is composed of three parts. In the first part microscopic and spectroscopy techniques as well as computer assisted microscopy will be used to study lipid membrane - nanoparticle interactions. We expect that the intensity and type of interactions will depend on primary characteristics of particles and characteristics of a particle suspension (secondary characteristics). In the second part, results of the first part will be validated in vivo. A model invertebrate organism will be exposed to nanoparticles via food or via single oral gavage. After exposure, three types of biomarkers will be measured. These are biomarkers for physical interactions between cell membrane and particles, biomarkers for altered metabolic activity and biomarkers for oxidative stress. In addition, FTIR analyses of digestive gland epithelium will be analyzed in order to assess a molecular fingerprint in non-exposed animals versus nanoparticle fed animals. In this part we expect to confirm the hypothesis that particles which affected artificial lipid membranes have also the potential to affect cell membrane in vivo. Further, we will test the hypothesis here that nanoparticles which do not affect artificial lipid membranes have lower potential to affect cell membrane in vivo. We expect that data obtained with selected biomarkers and FTIR analyses will allow discussing whether nanoparticles first exert oxidative stress which subsequently leads to cell membrane destabilization or cell membrane is destabilized due to direct contact between nanoparticles and cells. In the third part, in vivo cellular internalization of some selected nanoparticles will be studied by x-ray based methods (PIXE, SR XRF, EDX-SEM analyses). Here we expect to reveal which characteristic of nanoparticles are responsible for cellular internalization of nanoparticles.   For our knowledge, there is no evidence in the literature on linking data on nanoparticle characteristics, experimental data on artificial lipid vesicles and in vivo realistic exposure. The project will start to fill this gap in knowledge.   The partnership of the leading research group in a large EU 7 FP (NanoValid) and two domestic centers of excellence (Co Nanocentre and Co NAMASTE) will provide the access to best possible characterized nanoparticle and topmost research equipment.   Kenneth A. Dawson, Anna Salvati, and Iseult Lynch. Nanotoxicology: Nanoparticles reconstruct lipids. Nature Nanotechnology, 4(2):84–85, 2009.
Significance for science
In this project we have provide experimental data on the effects of nanoparticles on lipid membranes. Since lipid membranes are major constituents of biological membranes we have focused on the effect of nanoparticles on the lipid component of the biological membrane. This was validated also in in vivo system. The key findings of the project are: - Nanoparticles are not internalised by intact cells - Nanoparticles enter the cells only when cell membrane is damaged - the effect of nanoparticles on lipid membranes is less pronounced as expected at the beginning of the project.
Significance for the country
With the rapid rise of the field of nanotechnology and the design and production of increasingly complex nanoscale materials, it has become ever more important to understand how the physical form and chemical composition of these materials interact synergistically to determine bio-nano interactions. During the development of any nanotechnological product for biomedical application, application in pharmacy food industry and similar, controlled interactions with biological systems have to be studied in order to reach the desired application. However, when a product is to be put on the market its potential side effects have to be known as well. The knowledge obtained in this proejkt is already dissiminated to two sloveian companies: Zlatara and Cinkarna Celje.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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