Cells and the machinery they encase are soft matter – shape-shifting multicomponent systems with an overwhelming richness of forms. But, these squishy packages are hard targets for potential therapeutic and diagnostic applications that exploit nanomaterials, from quantum dots that light up specific tissues to nanocages carrying drug payloads.
The problem, according to a team of 12 experts from five countries, stems from a “mismatch” between the structural complexity that nature selected over billions of years of evolution and the minimalist designs of synthetic nanomaterials, optimized for lab conditions.
Advances in nanotechnology have made it possible to control the size, shape, composition, elasticity and chemical properties of laboratory-made nanomaterials. Yet many of these materials do not to function as expected in the body. In a recent issue of Biointerphases, from AIP Publishing, the team homes in on biomembranes – the gatekeeping bilipid-layers and proteins surrounding cells. They explore the barriers a synthetic nanomaterial must breach to enter a cell and achieve its intended purpose.
Image Credit: From the article
News This Week
Nature wades through the literature on the new coronavirus — and summarizes key papers as they appear: 1 June — Positive coronavirus test is no guarantee of infectiousness People with COVID-19 are unlikely to [...]
In April, blood clots emerged as one of the many mysterious symptoms attributed to Covid-19, a disease that had initially been thought to largely affect the lungs in the form of pneumonia. Quickly after came [...]
Scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) developed an experimental diagnostic test for COVID-19 that can visually detect the presence of the virus in 10 minutes. It uses a simple assay [...]
Rheumatologists at the University of Alberta are flagging similarities between the deaths of some COVID-19 patients and those with rheumatic illnesses, and are testing proven rheumatic treatments to see whether they help against [...]
Next-gen nano technologies that can prevent infection and diagnose disease are set to transform the medical industry as this important UniSA research is awarded more than $2 million dollars under the National Health and [...]
In late December last year, Dr. Li Wenliang began warning officials about a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, but was silenced by the police before tragically succumbing to the disease two months later. Meanwhile, [...]
Almost 10 weeks into the pandemic, COVID-19 is continuing to surprise and baffle health experts. In fact, experts' picture of exactly how COVID-19 might play out in the body is now quite different to [...]
EPFL scientists have developed a new computational approach to create artificial proteins, which showed promising results in vivo as functional vaccines. This approach opens the possibility to engineer safer and more effective vaccines. Vaccines [...]