Special Issue "Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Medicines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 21547

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrés Guerrero-Martínez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: nanoplasmonics; colloid chemistry; supramolecular chemistry; spectroscopy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. José M. Valpuesta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Estructura de Macromoléculas, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, Madrid, Spain
Interests: Structural biology, cryoelectron microscopy, macromolecules, molecular chaperones

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The bottom-up approach, used by living systems to build up large complex structures from relatively small biological components, constitutes one of the most important strategies that currently drives nanotechnology. In this context, the manipulation of the physico-chemical properties of biomolecules and biomaterials amenable to self-assembly at the nanoscale, is used to develop nanocontainers with the ability to efficiently integrate and load proteins, drugs and genetic material for biomedical purposes. The symposium on “Design, Development and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles,” organized by the “Spanish Nanobiocargo Consortium,” aims to enable these nanobiotechnological developments in structural biology, biophysics, chemical synthesis, materials physics, or molecular and cellular biology.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to contain the publication of high-quality research articles, as well as reviews, presented during the “Design, Development and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles” symposium, which seek to address recent achievements in the preparation, characterization and application of nanocontainers, and exciting new developments in related aspects of nanobiotechnology, including future prospects and biomedical challenges.

Dr. Andrés Guerrero-Martínez
Dr. José M. Valpuesta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nanocontainers
  • Biopolymers
  • Inorganic nanoparticles
  • Interfacial vehicles
  • Biocolloids
  • Viral capsids
  • Supramolecular polymers
  • Chaperones

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Controlled pDNA Release in Gemini Cationic Lipoplexes by Femtosecond Laser Irradiation of Gold Nanostars
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061498 - 05 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1393
Abstract
The design of nanovectors able to overcome biological barriers is one of the main challenges in biomedicine. Gemini cationic lipids are considered potential candidates for gene therapy due to their high biocompatibility and capacity to condense nucleic acids safely in the form of [...] Read more.
The design of nanovectors able to overcome biological barriers is one of the main challenges in biomedicine. Gemini cationic lipids are considered potential candidates for gene therapy due to their high biocompatibility and capacity to condense nucleic acids safely in the form of lipoplexes. However, this approach presents difficulties regarding genetic unpacking and, therefore, control over this process becomes crucial to ensure successful transfection. In this work, gemini cationic lipoplexes were prepared in the presence of plasmonic gold nanostars (AuNSs) to afford a nanovector that efficiently releases plasmid DNA (pDNA) upon irradiation with near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses. A critical AuNSs concentration of 50 pM and optimized laser power density of 400 mW led to successful pDNA release, whose efficiency could be further improved by increasing the irradiation time. Agarose gel electrophoresis was used to confirm pDNA release. UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy studies were performed to monitor changes in the morphology of the AuNSs and lipoplexes after irradiation. From a physicochemical point of view, this study demonstrates that the use of AuNSs combined with gemini cationic lipoplexes allows control over pDNA release under ultrafast laser irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Article
Polyhydroxyalkanoate Nanoparticles for Pulmonary Drug Delivery: Interaction with Lung Surfactant
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061482 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters produced intracellularly by many bacterial species as energy storage materials, which are used in biomedical applications, including drug delivery systems, due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this study, we evaluated the potential application of this nanomaterial as a [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters produced intracellularly by many bacterial species as energy storage materials, which are used in biomedical applications, including drug delivery systems, due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this study, we evaluated the potential application of this nanomaterial as a basis of inhaled drug delivery systems. To that end, we assessed the possible interaction between PHA nanoparticles (NPs) and pulmonary surfactant using dynamic light scattering, Langmuir balances, and epifluorescence microscopy. Our results demonstrate that NPs deposited onto preformed monolayers of DPPC or DPPC/POPG bind these surfactant lipids. This interaction facilitated the translocation of the nanomaterial towards the aqueous subphase, with the subsequent loss of lipid from the interface. NPs that remained at the interface associated with liquid expanded (LE)/tilted condensed (TC) phase boundaries, decreasing the size of condensed domains and promoting the intermixing of TC and LE phases at submicroscopic scale. This provided the stability necessary for attaining high surface pressures upon compression, countering the destabilization induced by lipid loss. These effects were observed only for high NP loads, suggesting a limit for the use of these NPs in pulmonary drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Communication
Globular Aggregates Stemming from the Self-Assembly of an Amphiphilic N-Annulated Perylene Bisimide in Aqueous Media
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1457; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061457 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Herein, we describe the synthesis of highly emissive amphiphilic N-annulated PBI 1 decorated with oligo ethylene glycol (OEG) side chains. These polar side chains allow the straightforward solubility of 1 in solvents of different polarity such as water, iPrOH, dioxane, or chloroform. [...] Read more.
Herein, we describe the synthesis of highly emissive amphiphilic N-annulated PBI 1 decorated with oligo ethylene glycol (OEG) side chains. These polar side chains allow the straightforward solubility of 1 in solvents of different polarity such as water, iPrOH, dioxane, or chloroform. Compound 1 self-assembles in aqueous media by π-stacking of the aromatic units and van der Waals interactions, favored by the hydrophobic effect. The hypo- and hypsochromic effect observed in the UV-Vis spectra of 1 in water in comparison to chloroform is diagnostic of H-type aggregation. Solvent denaturation experiments allow deriving the free Gibbs energy for the self-assembly process in aqueous media and the factor m that is indicative of the influence exerted by a good solvent in the stability of the final aggregates. The ability of compound 1 to self-assemble in water yields globular aggregates that have been visualized by TEM imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Article
Synthesis of Mesoporous Silica Coated Gold Nanorods Loaded with Methylene Blue and Its Potentials in Antibacterial Applications
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051338 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2107
Abstract
In this work, the successful preparation and characterization of gold nanorods (AuNRs) coated with a mesoporous silica shell ([email protected]) was achieved. Conjugation with methylene blue (MB) as a model drug using ultrasound-stimulated loading has been explored for further application in light-mediated antibacterial studies. [...] Read more.
In this work, the successful preparation and characterization of gold nanorods (AuNRs) coated with a mesoporous silica shell ([email protected]) was achieved. Conjugation with methylene blue (MB) as a model drug using ultrasound-stimulated loading has been explored for further application in light-mediated antibacterial studies. Lyophilization of this conjugated nanosystem was analyzed using trehalose (TRH) as a cryogenic protector. The obtained stable dry formulation shows potent antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria after a simple post-treatment irradiation method with a red laser during a short time period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Article
Biogenic Selenium Nanoparticles: A Fine Characterization to Unveil Their Thermodynamic Stability
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051195 - 01 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Among the plethora of available metal(loid) nanomaterials (NMs), those containing selenium are interesting from an applicative perspective, due to their high biocompatibility. Microorganisms capable of coping with toxic Se-oxyanions generate mostly Se nanoparticles (SeNPs), representing an ideal and green alternative over the chemogenic [...] Read more.
Among the plethora of available metal(loid) nanomaterials (NMs), those containing selenium are interesting from an applicative perspective, due to their high biocompatibility. Microorganisms capable of coping with toxic Se-oxyanions generate mostly Se nanoparticles (SeNPs), representing an ideal and green alternative over the chemogenic synthesis to obtain thermodynamically stable NMs. However, their structural characterization, in terms of biomolecules and interactions stabilizing the biogenic colloidal solution, is still a black hole that impairs the exploitation of biogenic SeNP full potential. Here, spherical and thermodynamically stable SeNPs were produced by a metal(loid) tolerant Micrococcus sp. Structural characterization obtained by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) revealed that these SeNPs were surrounded by an organic material that contributed the most to their electrosteric stabilization, as indicated by Zeta (ζ) potential measurements. Proteins were strongly adsorbed on the SeNP surface, while lipids, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids more loosely interacted with SeNMs as highlighted by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and overall supported by multivariate statistical analysis. Nevertheless, all these contributors were fundamental to maintain SeNPs stable, as, upon washing, the NM-containing extract showed the arising of aggregated SeNPs alongside Se nanorods (SeNRs). Besides, Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculation unveiled how thiol-containing molecules appeared to play a role in SeO32− bioreduction, stress oxidative response, and SeNP stabilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Article
Parametric Optimization of an Air–Liquid Interface System for Flow-Through Inhalation Exposure to Nanoparticles: Assessing Dosimetry and Intracellular Uptake of CeO2 Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(12), 2369; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10122369 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3012
Abstract
Air–liquid interface (ALI) systems have been widely used in recent years to investigate the inhalation toxicity of many gaseous compounds, chemicals, and nanomaterials and represent an emerging and promising in vitro method to supplement in vivo studies. ALI exposure reflects the physiological conditions [...] Read more.
Air–liquid interface (ALI) systems have been widely used in recent years to investigate the inhalation toxicity of many gaseous compounds, chemicals, and nanomaterials and represent an emerging and promising in vitro method to supplement in vivo studies. ALI exposure reflects the physiological conditions of the deep lung more closely to subacute in vivo inhalation scenarios compared to submerged exposure. The comparability of the toxicological results obtained from in vivo and in vitro inhalation data is still challenging. The robustness of ALI exposure scenarios is not yet well understood, but critical for the potential standardization of these methods. We report a cause-and-effect (C&E) analysis of a flow through ALI exposure system. The influence of five different instrumental and physiological parameters affecting cell viability and exposure parameters of a human lung cell line in vitro (exposure duration, relative humidity, temperature, CO2 concentration and flow rate) was investigated. After exposing lung epithelia cells to a CeO2 nanoparticle (NP) aerosol, intracellular CeO2 concentrations reached values similar to those found in a recent subacute rat inhalation study in vivo. This is the first study showing that the NP concentration reached in vitro using a flow through ALI system were the same as those in an in vivo study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Review

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Review
From Residues to Added-Value Bacterial Biopolymers as Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061492 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2384
Abstract
Bacterial biopolymers are naturally occurring materials comprising a wide range of molecules with diverse chemical structures that can be produced from renewable sources following the principles of the circular economy. Over the last decades, they have gained substantial interest in the biomedical field [...] Read more.
Bacterial biopolymers are naturally occurring materials comprising a wide range of molecules with diverse chemical structures that can be produced from renewable sources following the principles of the circular economy. Over the last decades, they have gained substantial interest in the biomedical field as drug nanocarriers, implantable material coatings, and tissue-regeneration scaffolds or membranes due to their inherent biocompatibility, biodegradability into nonhazardous disintegration products, and their mechanical properties, which are similar to those of human tissues. The present review focuses upon three technologically advanced bacterial biopolymers, namely, bacterial cellulose (BC), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), and γ-polyglutamic acid (PGA), as models of different carbon-backbone structures (polysaccharides, polyesters, and polyamides) produced by bacteria that are suitable for biomedical applications in nanoscale systems. This selection models evidence of the wide versatility of microorganisms to generate biopolymers by diverse metabolic strategies. We highlight the suitability for applied sustainable bioprocesses for the production of BC, PHA, and PGA based on renewable carbon sources and the singularity of each process driven by bacterial machinery. The inherent properties of each polymer can be fine-tuned by means of chemical and biotechnological approaches, such as metabolic engineering and peptide functionalization, to further expand their structural diversity and their applicability as nanomaterials in biomedicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Review
Exosomes as Naturally Occurring Vehicles for Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals: Insights from Drug Delivery to Clinical Perspectives
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061481 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3240
Abstract
Exosomes as nanosized vesicles are emerging as drug delivery systems for therapeutics owing to their natural origin, their ability to mediate intercellular communication, and their potential to encapsulate various biological molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids within the lipid bilayer membrane or [...] Read more.
Exosomes as nanosized vesicles are emerging as drug delivery systems for therapeutics owing to their natural origin, their ability to mediate intercellular communication, and their potential to encapsulate various biological molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids within the lipid bilayer membrane or in the lumen. Exosomes contain endogenous components (proteins, lipids, RNA) that could be used to deliver cargoes to target cells, offering an opportunity to diagnose and treat various diseases. Owing to their ability to travel safely in extracellular fluid and to transport cargoes to target cells with high efficacy, exosomes offer enhanced delivery of cargoes in vivo. However, several challenges related to the stabilization of the exosomes, the production of sufficient amounts of exosomes with safety and efficacy, the efficient loading of drugs into exosomes, the clearance of exosomes from circulation, and the transition from the bench scale to clinical production may limit their development and clinical use. For the clinical use of exosomes, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms behind the transport and function of exosome vesicles. This review exploits techniques related to the isolation and characterization of exosomes and their drug delivery potential to enhance the therapeutic outcome and stabilization methods. Further, routes of administration, clinical trials, and regulatory aspects of exosomes will be discussed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Review
Nanotechnological Applications Based on Bacterial Encapsulins
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1467; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11061467 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2245
Abstract
Encapsulins are proteinaceous nanocontainers, constructed by a single species of shell protein that self-assemble into 20–40 nm icosahedral particles. Encapsulins are structurally similar to the capsids of viruses of the HK97-like lineage, to which they are evolutionarily related. Nearly all these nanocontainers encase [...] Read more.
Encapsulins are proteinaceous nanocontainers, constructed by a single species of shell protein that self-assemble into 20–40 nm icosahedral particles. Encapsulins are structurally similar to the capsids of viruses of the HK97-like lineage, to which they are evolutionarily related. Nearly all these nanocontainers encase a single oligomeric protein that defines the physiological role of the complex, although a few encapsulate several activities within a single particle. Encapsulins are abundant in bacteria and archaea, in which they participate in regulation of oxidative stress, detoxification, and homeostasis of key chemical elements. These nanocontainers are physically robust, contain numerous pores that permit metabolite flux through the shell, and are very tolerant of genetic manipulation. There are natural mechanisms for efficient functionalization of the outer and inner shell surfaces, and for the in vivo and in vitro internalization of heterologous proteins. These characteristics render encapsulin an excellent platform for the development of biotechnological applications. Here we provide an overview of current knowledge of encapsulin systems, summarize the remarkable toolbox developed by researchers in this field, and discuss recent advances in the biomedical and bioengineering applications of encapsulins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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Review
Chaperonins: Nanocarriers with Biotechnological Applications
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020503 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
Chaperonins are molecular chaperones found in all kingdoms of life, and as such they assist in the folding of other proteins. Structurally, chaperonins are cylinders composed of two back-to-back rings, each of which is an oligomer of ~60-kDa proteins. Chaperonins are found in [...] Read more.
Chaperonins are molecular chaperones found in all kingdoms of life, and as such they assist in the folding of other proteins. Structurally, chaperonins are cylinders composed of two back-to-back rings, each of which is an oligomer of ~60-kDa proteins. Chaperonins are found in two main conformations, one in which the cavity is open and ready to recognise and trap unfolded client proteins, and a “closed” form in which folding takes place. The conspicuous properties of this structure (a cylinder containing a cavity that allows confinement) and the potential to control its closure and aperture have inspired a number of nanotechnological applications that will be described in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Development, and Production of Nanocarriers and Nanovehicles)
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