Special Issue "Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gianni Ciofani

1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Polytechnic University of Torino, Torino, Italy
2. Center for Micro-BioRobotics @SSSA, Italian Institute of Technology, Pontedera, Pisa, Italy
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanoscale structures and materials have been widely explored in many biomedical applications because of their novel and impressive physical and chemical properties, which offer unprecedented opportunities to study and interact with complex biological processes. Just recently, scientists have started to exploit intrinsic properties of nanomaterials in nanomedicine, rather than simply using them as carriers for medications. In this way, the plain nanomaterial represents a really active "smart" device, able to respond to external stimuli with intrinsic modifications of its chemical and/or physical characteristics, and to trigger novel biological responses.

This Special Issue is dedicated to those nanoparticles (magnetic, piezoelectric, optical-active, etc.) able to foster peculiar functionality in cells and tissues, for applications that range from tissue engineering to in vivo stimulation. Research papers and reviews focused on these aspects, and on biocompatibility evaluation of novel "smart" nanoparticles, are welcome.

Dr. Gianni Ciofani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • smart nanoparticles
  • nanomedicine
  • cell/tissue physical stimulation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle ZnO Nano-Rod Devices for Intradermal Delivery and Immunization
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 147; doi:10.3390/nano7060147
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Intradermal delivery of antigens for vaccination is a very attractive approach since the skin provides a rich network of antigen presenting cells, which aid in stimulating an immune response. Numerous intradermal techniques have been developed to enhance penetration across the skin. However, these
[...] Read more.
Intradermal delivery of antigens for vaccination is a very attractive approach since the skin provides a rich network of antigen presenting cells, which aid in stimulating an immune response. Numerous intradermal techniques have been developed to enhance penetration across the skin. However, these methods are invasive and/or affect the skin integrity. Hence, our group has devised zinc oxide (ZnO) nano-rods for non-destructive drug delivery. Chemical vapour deposition was used to fabricate aligned nano-rods on ZnO pre-coated silicon chips. The nano-rods’ length and diameter were found to depend on the temperature, time, quality of sputtered silicon chips, etc. Vertically aligned ZnO nano-rods with lengths of 30–35 µm and diameters of 200–300 nm were selected for in vitro human skin permeation studies using Franz cells with Albumin-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) absorbed on the nano-rods. Fluorescence and confocal studies on the skin samples showed FITC penetration through the skin along the channels formed by the nano-rods. Bradford protein assay on the collected fluid samples indicated a significant quantity of Albumin-FITC in the first 12 h. Low antibody titres were observed with immunisation on Balb/c mice with ovalbumin (OVA) antigen coated on the nano-rod chips. Nonetheless, due to the reduced dimensions of the nano-rods, our device offers the additional advantage of excluding the simultaneous entrance of microbial pathogens. Taken together, these results showed that ZnO nano-rods hold the potential for a safe, non-invasive, and painless intradermal drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Assessment of the Potential Use of BNNTs for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 82; doi:10.3390/nano7040082
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Currently, nanostructured compounds have been standing out for their optical, mechanical, and chemical features and for the possibilities of manipulation and regulation of complex biological processes. One of these compounds is boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), which are a nanostructured material analog to carbon
[...] Read more.
Currently, nanostructured compounds have been standing out for their optical, mechanical, and chemical features and for the possibilities of manipulation and regulation of complex biological processes. One of these compounds is boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), which are a nanostructured material analog to carbon nanotubes, but formed of nitrogen and boron atoms. BNNTs present high thermal stability along with high chemical inertia. Among biological applications, its biocompatibility, cellular uptake, and functionalization potential can be highlighted, in addition to its eased utilization due to its nanometric size and tumor cell internalization. When it comes to new forms of therapy, we can draw attention to boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), an experimental radiotherapy characterized by a boron-10 isotope carrier inside the target and a thermal neutron beam focused on it. The activation of the boron-10 atom by a neutron generates a lithium atom, a gamma ray, and an alpha particle, which can be used to destroy tumor tissues. The aim of this work was to use BNNTs as a boron-10 carrier for BNCT and to demonstrate its potential. The nanomaterial was characterized through XRD, FTIR, and SEM. The WST-8 assay was performed to confirm the cell viability of BNNTs. The cells treated with BNNTs were irradiated with the neutron beam of a Triga reactor, and the apoptosis caused by the activation of the BNNTs was measured with a calcein AM/propidium iodide test. The results demonstrate that this nanomaterial is a promising candidate for cancer therapy through BNCT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Investigating the Origins of Toxic Response in TiO2 Nanoparticle-Treated Cells
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 83; doi:10.3390/nano7040083
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
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Abstract
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) are widely used in sunscreens, cosmetics and body implants, and this raises toxicity concerns. Although a large number of reports claim that they are safe to use, others claim that they induce reactive oxygen species formation and
[...] Read more.
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) are widely used in sunscreens, cosmetics and body implants, and this raises toxicity concerns. Although a large number of reports claim that they are safe to use, others claim that they induce reactive oxygen species formation and can be carcinogenic. In this study, the origins of toxic response to TiO2 NPs were investigated by using Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) which provides multidimensional information on the cellular dynamics at single cell level without any requirement for cell fixation. Three cell lines of vein (HUVEC), lung carcinoma (A549) and skin (L929) origin were tested for their toxic response upon exposure to 20, 40, 80 and 160 µg/mL anatase-TiO2 NPs for 24 h. It was demonstrated that the level of toxic response is both cell line and dose-dependent. L929 fibroblasts were the most resistant cell line to oxidative stress whereas in HUVEC and A549, cell lines collagen and lipid deformation were observed, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation)
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Open AccessArticle Cytotoxicity of ZnO Nanowire Arrays on Excitable Cells
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 80; doi:10.3390/nano7040080
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires have been widely studied for their applications in electronics, optics, and catalysts. Their semiconducting, piezoelectric, fluorescent, and antibacterial properties have also attracted broad interest in their biomedical applications. Thus, it is imperative to evaluate the biosafety of ZnO nanowires
[...] Read more.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires have been widely studied for their applications in electronics, optics, and catalysts. Their semiconducting, piezoelectric, fluorescent, and antibacterial properties have also attracted broad interest in their biomedical applications. Thus, it is imperative to evaluate the biosafety of ZnO nanowires and their biological effects. In this study, the cellular level biological effects of ZnO nanowire arrays are specifically tested on three types of excitable cells, including NG108-15 neuronal cell line, HL-1 cardiac muscle cell line, and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. Vertically aligned and densely packed ZnO nanowire arrays are synthesized using a solution-based method and used as a substrate for cell culture. The metabolism levels of all three types of cells cultured on ZnO nanowire arrays are studied using the 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays of a full factorial design. Under the studied settings, the results show statistically significant inhibitory effects of ZnO nanowire arrays on the metabolism of NG108-15 and HL-1 cells in comparison to gold, glass, and polystyrene substrates, and on the metabolism of cardiomyocytes in comparison to gold substrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation)
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Open AccessArticle Chitosan-Functionalized Graphene Oxide as a Potential Immunoadjuvant
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(3), 59; doi:10.3390/nano7030059
Received: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2900 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The application of graphene oxide (GO) as a potential vaccine adjuvant has recently attracted considerable attention. However, appropriate surface functionalization of GO is crucial to improve its biocompatibility and enhance its adjuvant activity. In this study, we developed a simple method to prepare
[...] Read more.
The application of graphene oxide (GO) as a potential vaccine adjuvant has recently attracted considerable attention. However, appropriate surface functionalization of GO is crucial to improve its biocompatibility and enhance its adjuvant activity. In this study, we developed a simple method to prepare chitosan (CS)-functionalized GO (GO-CS) and further investigated its potential as a nanoadjuvant. Compared with GO, GO-CS possessed considerably smaller size, positive surface charge, and better thermal stability. The functionalization of GO with CS was effective in decreasing the non-specific protein adsorption and improving its biocompatibility. Furthermore, GO-CS significantly activated RAW264.7 cells and stimulated more cytokines for mediating cellular immune response, which was mainly due to the synergistic immunostimulatory effect of both GO and CS. GO-CS exhibits strong potential as a safe nanoadjuvant for vaccines and immunotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Gold Nanoparticles for Modulating Neuronal Behavior
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 92; doi:10.3390/nano7040092
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
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Abstract
Understanding the detailed functioning and pathophysiology of the brain and the nervous system continues to challenge the scientific community, particularly in terms of scaling up techniques for monitoring and interfacing with complex 3D networks. Nanotechnology has the potential to support this scaling up,
[...] Read more.
Understanding the detailed functioning and pathophysiology of the brain and the nervous system continues to challenge the scientific community, particularly in terms of scaling up techniques for monitoring and interfacing with complex 3D networks. Nanotechnology has the potential to support this scaling up, where the eventual goal would be to address individual nerve cells within functional units of both the central and peripheral nervous system. Gold nanoparticles provide a variety of physical and chemical properties that have attracted attention as a light-activated nanoscale neuronal interface. This review provides a critical overview of the photothermal and photomechanical properties of chemically functionalized gold nanoparticles that have been exploited to trigger a range of biological responses in neuronal tissues, including modulation of electrical activity and nerve regeneration. The prospects and challenges for further development are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle-Mediated Cell and Tissue Stimulation)
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