Special Issue "Nanoparticles for Medical Applications: Progress in Surface Modification"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 24 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marta Miola
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Applied Science and Technology, Torino, Italy
Interests: bioactive glasses/glass-ceramics; antibacterial materials; composites; magnetic materials; inorganic nanoparticles; natural active principles; materials functionalization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Enrica Vernè
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
Interests: biomaterials; bioactive glasses; antibacterial materials; surface functionalization; magnetic materials; nanomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last years, nanoparticles attracted the researchers interest due to their exclusive chemical and physical properties. In medical applications, different kind of nanoparticles have been investigated, such as magnetic, metallic, polymeric, silica, fluorescent (quantum dots) and biologically derived nanoparticles; moreover, several progresses have been made regarding their synthesis method. However, more efforts are still required to improve and tailor the nanoparticles surface properties.

Surface features are extremely important since they can influence nanoparticles dispersion, biocompatibility, solubility, interaction with biomolecules and cellular internalization. Functionalization with small molecules, surfactants, dendrimers and polymers, is one of the most used strategy to protect nanoparticles against agglomeration, improve their biocompatibility, tailor the biodegradability and impart desired properties. Another strategy to modify the nanoparticles surface features is to coat them with thin organic or inorganic layers.

The specific challenge of this special issue is to survey and outline the progress on the nanoparticles surface optimization, focusing the attention on the interaction between nanoparticles and chemical moieties, and their characterization in physiological conditions. For this reason, it is with immense pleasure that we invite authors to submit original research paper or reviews for this Special Issue.

Potential topics concern, but are not limited to:

  • Nanoparticles surface functionalization
  • Nanoparticles organic/inorganic coating
  • Nanoparticles interaction with biomolecules
  • Interaction between nanoparticles and biological systems
  • Role of nanoparticles surface in the cell internalization
  • Biocompatibility of nanoparticles

Prof. Dr. Marta Miola
Prof. Dr. Enrica Vernè
Guest Editors

 

Keywords

  • Nanoparticles surface functionalization
  • Nanoparticles coatings
  • Nanoparticles-cells interaction
  • Inorganic nanoparticles
  • Organic Nanoparticles
  • Biologically derived nanoparticles
  • Therapy and diagnosis

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Biocompatibility Testing of Liquid Metal as an Interconnection Material for Flexible Implant Technology
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(12), 3251; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11123251 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Galinstan, a liquid metal at room temperature, is a promising material for use in flexible electronics. Since it has been successfully integrated in devices for external use, e.g., as stretchable electronic skin in tactile sensation, the possibility of using galinstan for flexible implant [...] Read more.
Galinstan, a liquid metal at room temperature, is a promising material for use in flexible electronics. Since it has been successfully integrated in devices for external use, e.g., as stretchable electronic skin in tactile sensation, the possibility of using galinstan for flexible implant technology comes to mind. Usage of liquid metals in a flexible implant would reduce the risk of broken conductive pathways in the implants and therefore reduce the possibility of implant failure. However, the biocompatibility of the liquid metal under study, i.e., galinstan, has not been proven in state-of-the-art literature. Therefore, in this paper, a material combination of galinstan and silicone rubber is under investigation regarding the success of sterilization methods and to establish biocompatibility testing for an in vivo application. First cell biocompatibility tests (WST-1 assays) and cell toxicity tests (LDH assays) show promising results regarding biocompatibility. This work paves the way towards the successful integration of stretchable devices using liquid metals embedded in a silicone rubber encapsulant for flexible surface electro-cortical grid arrays and other flexible implants. Full article
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Article
Identification of a Profile of Neutrophil-Derived Granule Proteins in the Surface of Gold Nanoparticles after Their Interaction with Human Breast Cancer Sera
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061223 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
It is well known that the interaction of a nanomaterial with a biological fluid leads to the formation of a protein corona (PC) surrounding the nanomaterial. Using standard blood analyses, alterations in protein patterns are difficult to detect. PC acts as a “nano-concentrator” [...] Read more.
It is well known that the interaction of a nanomaterial with a biological fluid leads to the formation of a protein corona (PC) surrounding the nanomaterial. Using standard blood analyses, alterations in protein patterns are difficult to detect. PC acts as a “nano-concentrator” of serum proteins with affinity for nanoparticles’ surface. Consequently, characterization of PC could allow detection of otherwise undetectable changes in protein concentration at an early stage of a disease, such as breast cancer (BC). Here, we employed gold nanoparticles (AuNPsdiameter: 10.02 ± 0.91 nm) as an enrichment platform to analyze the human serum proteome of BC patients (n = 42) and healthy controls (n = 42). Importantly, the analysis of the PC formed around AuNPs after their interaction with serum samples of BC patients showed a profile of proteins that could differentiate breast cancer patients from healthy controls. These proteins developed a significant role in the immune and/or innate immune system, some of them being neutrophil-derived granule proteins. The analysis of the PC also revealed serum proteome alterations at the subtype level. Full article
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Article
Plasmon-Emitter Hybrid Nanostructures of Gold Nanorod-Quantum Dots with Regulated Energy Transfer as a Universal Nano-Sensor for One-step Biomarker Detection
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030444 - 01 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Recently, biosensing based on weak coupling in plasmon-emitter hybrid nanostructures exhibits the merits of simplicity and high sensitivity, and attracts increasing attention as an emerging nano-sensor. In this study, we propose an innovative plasmon-regulated fluorescence resonance energy transfer (plasmon-regulated FRET) sensing strategy based [...] Read more.
Recently, biosensing based on weak coupling in plasmon-emitter hybrid nanostructures exhibits the merits of simplicity and high sensitivity, and attracts increasing attention as an emerging nano-sensor. In this study, we propose an innovative plasmon-regulated fluorescence resonance energy transfer (plasmon-regulated FRET) sensing strategy based on a plasmon-emitter hybrid nanostructure of gold nanorod-quantum dots (Au NR-QDs) by partially modifying QDs onto the surfaces of Au NRs. The Au NR-QDs showed good sensitivity and reversibility against refractive index change. We successfully employed the Au NR-QDs to fabricate nano-sensors for detecting a cancer biomarker of alpha fetoprotein with a limit of detection of 0.30 ng/mL, which displays that the sensitivity of the Au NR-QDs nano-sensor was effectively improved compared with the Au NRs based plasmonic sensing. Additionally, to demonstrate the universality of the plasmon-regulated FRET sensing strategy, another plasmon-emitter hybrid nano-sensor of Au nano-prism-quantum dots (Au NP-QDs) were constructed and applied for detecting a myocardial infarction biomarker of cardiac troponin I. It was first reported that the change of absorption spectra of plasmonic structure in a plasmon-emitter hybrid nanostructure was employed for analytes detection. The plasmon-regulated FRET sensing strategy described herein has potential utility to develop general sensing platforms for chemical and biological analysis. Full article
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Article
Tumor Targeting by Monoclonal Antibody Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111575 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
Tumor-targeted drug-loaded nanocarriers represent innovative and attractive tools for cancer therapy. Several magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were analyzed as potential tumor-targeted drug-loaded nanocarriers after functionalization with anti-Met oncogene (anti-Met/HGFR) monoclonal antibody (mAb) and doxorubicin (DOXO). Their cytocompatibility, stability, immunocompetence (immunoprecipitation), and their interactions with [...] Read more.
Tumor-targeted drug-loaded nanocarriers represent innovative and attractive tools for cancer therapy. Several magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were analyzed as potential tumor-targeted drug-loaded nanocarriers after functionalization with anti-Met oncogene (anti-Met/HGFR) monoclonal antibody (mAb) and doxorubicin (DOXO). Their cytocompatibility, stability, immunocompetence (immunoprecipitation), and their interactions with cancer cells in vitro (Perl’s staining, confocal microscopy, cytotoxic assays: MTT, real time toxicity) and with tumors in vivo (Perl’s staining) were evaluated. The simplest silica- and calcium-free mAb-loaded MNPs were the most cytocompatible, the most stable, and showed the best immunocompetence and specificity. These mAb-functionalized MNPs specifically interacted with the surface of Met/HGFR-positive cells, and not with Met/HGFR-negative cells; they were not internalized, but they discharged in the targeted cells DOXO, which reached the nucleus, exerting cytotoxicity. The presence of mAbs on DOXO-MNPs significantly increased their cytotoxicity on Met/HGFR-positive cells, while no such effect was detectable on Met/HGFR-negative cells. Bare MNPs were biocompatible in vivo; mAb presence on MNPs induced a better dispersion within the tumor mass when injected in situ in Met/HGFR-positive xenotumors in NOD/SCID-γnull mice. These MNPs may represent a new and promising carrier for in vivo targeted drug delivery, in which applied gradient and alternating magnetic fields can enhance targeting and induce hyperthermia respectively. Full article
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Review

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Review
Nanotechnology Innovations to Enhance the Therapeutic Efficacy of Quercetin
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(10), 2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11102658 - 09 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
Quercetin is a flavonol present in many vegetables and fruits. Generally, quercetin can be found in aglycone and glycoside forms, mainly in leaves. The absorption of this compound occurs in the large and small intestine, where it suffers glucuronidation, sulfidation, and methylation to [...] Read more.
Quercetin is a flavonol present in many vegetables and fruits. Generally, quercetin can be found in aglycone and glycoside forms, mainly in leaves. The absorption of this compound occurs in the large and small intestine, where it suffers glucuronidation, sulfidation, and methylation to improve hydrophilicity. After metabolization, which occurs mainly in the gut, it is distributed throughout the whole organism and is excreted by feces, urine, and exhalation of carbon dioxide. Despite its in vitro cytotoxicity effects, in vivo studies with animal models ensure its safety. This compound can protect against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and neurodegenerative diseases due to its radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its poor bioavailability dampens the potential beneficial effects of this flavonoid. In that sense, many types of nanocarriers have been developed to improve quercetin solubility, as well as to design tissue-specific delivery systems. All these studies manage to improve the bioavailability of quercetin, allowing it to increase its concentration in the desired places. Collectively, quercetin can become a promising compound if nanotechnology is employed as a tool to enhance its therapeutic efficacy. Full article
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Review
Targeting the “Sweet Side” of Tumor with Glycan-Binding Molecules Conjugated-Nanoparticles: Implications in Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020289 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Nanotechnology is in the spotlight of therapeutic innovation, with numerous advantages for tumor visualization and eradication. The end goal of the therapeutic use of nanoparticles, however, remains distant due to the limitations of nanoparticles to target cancer tissue. The functionalization of nanosystem surfaces [...] Read more.
Nanotechnology is in the spotlight of therapeutic innovation, with numerous advantages for tumor visualization and eradication. The end goal of the therapeutic use of nanoparticles, however, remains distant due to the limitations of nanoparticles to target cancer tissue. The functionalization of nanosystem surfaces with biological ligands is a major strategy for directing the actions of nanomaterials specifically to tumor cells. Cancer formation and metastasis are accompanied by profound alterations in protein glycosylation. Hence, the detection and targeting of aberrant glycans are of great value in cancer diagnosis and therapy. In this review, we provide a brief update on recent progress targeting aberrant glycosylation by functionalizing nanoparticles with glycan-binding molecules (with a special focus on lectins and anti-glycan antibodies) to improve the efficacy of nanoparticles in cancer targeting, diagnosis, and therapy and outline the challenges and limitations in implementing this approach. We envision that the combination of nanotechnological strategies and cancer-associated glycan targeting could remodel the field of cancer diagnosis and therapy, including immunotherapy. Full article
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Review
The Intrinsic Biological Identities of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Their Coatings: Unexplored Territory for Combinatorial Therapies
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050837 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
Over the last 20 years, iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have been the subject of increasing investigation due to their potential use as theranostic agents. Their unique physical properties (physical identity), ample possibilities for surface modifications (synthetic identity), and the complex dynamics of their [...] Read more.
Over the last 20 years, iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have been the subject of increasing investigation due to their potential use as theranostic agents. Their unique physical properties (physical identity), ample possibilities for surface modifications (synthetic identity), and the complex dynamics of their interaction with biological systems (biological identity) make IONPs a unique and fruitful resource for developing magnetic field-based therapeutic and diagnostic approaches to the treatment of diseases such as cancer. Like all nanomaterials, IONPs also interact with different cell types in vivo, a characteristic that ultimately determines their activity over the short and long term. Cells of the mononuclear phagocytic system (macrophages), dendritic cells (DCs), and endothelial cells (ECs) are engaged in the bulk of IONP encounters in the organism, and also determine IONP biodistribution. Therefore, the biological effects that IONPs trigger in these cells (biological identity) are of utmost importance to better understand and refine the efficacy of IONP-based theranostics. In the present review, which is focused on anti-cancer therapy, we discuss recent findings on the biological identities of IONPs, particularly as concerns their interactions with myeloid, endothelial, and tumor cells. Furthermore, we thoroughly discuss current understandings of the basic molecular mechanisms and complex interactions that govern IONP biological identity, and how these traits could be used as a stepping stone for future research. Full article
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