As a consequence of their widespread use, there has been a significant increase in human and environmental exposure to engineered nanoparticles. However there is a major gap in our knowledge of how nanoparticles interact with and cross biological membranes. This is a key mechanism in determining the biological fate of nanoparticles and their effects on biological cells. Understanding nanoparticle uptake into cells will help to address issues of nanotoxicity and assist in the design of functionalised nanoparticles for use in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are exploring the interactions of nanoparticles (including silica and polystyrene nanoparticles) with lipid bilayers and biomimetic polymer membranes.
- Thake, T. H. F., Webb, J. R., Nash, A., Rappoport, J. Z. and Notman, R. (2013) Permeation of Polystyrene Nanoparticles across Model Lipid Bilayer Membranes. Soft Matter, 9, 10265 (abstract).