Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’

Abstract:
•Ammonium-phosphate interaction causes undesirable stickiness
•Nanoparticles pick up parts of lipid cellular membrane like a rolling snowball
•Stickiness leads to nanoparticle aggregation which could be harmful to cells

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’

Evanston, IL | Posted on October 18th, 2018

Personal electronic devices -- smartphones, computers, TVs, tablets, screens of all kinds -- are a significant and growing source of the world’s electronic waste. Many of these products use nanomaterials, but little is known about how these modern materials and their tiny particles interact with the environment and living things.



Now a research team of Northwestern University chemists and colleagues from the national Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology has discovered that when certain coated nanoparticles interact with living organisms it results in new properties that cause the nanoparticles to become sticky. Fragmented lipid coronas form on the particles, causing them to stick together and grow into long kelp-like strands. Nanoparticles with 5-nanometer diameters form long structures that are microns in size in solution. The impact on cells is not known.



“Why not make a particle that is benign from the beginning?” said Franz M. Geiger, professor of chemistry in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He led the Northwestern portion of the research.



“This study provides insight into the molecular mechanisms by which nanoparticles interact with biological systems,” Geiger said. “This may help us understand and predict why some nanomaterial/ligand coating combinations are detrimental to cellular organisms while others are not. We can use this to engineer nanoparticles that are benign by design.”



Using experiments and computer simulations, the research team studied polycation-wrapped gold nanoparticles and their interactions with a variety of bilayer membrane models, including bacteria. The researchers found that a nearly circular layer of lipids forms spontaneously around the particles. These “fragmented lipid coronas” have never been seen before.



The study points to solving problems with chemistry. Scientists can use the findings to design a better ligand coating for nanoparticles that avoids the ammonium-phosphate interaction, which causes the aggregation. (Ligands are used in nanomaterials for layering.)



The results will be published Oct. 18 in the journal Chem.



Geiger is the study’s corresponding author. Other authors include scientists from the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology’s other institutional partners. Based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the center studies engineered nanomaterials and their interaction with the environment, including biological systems -- both the negative and positive aspects.



“The nanoparticles pick up parts of the lipid cellular membrane like a snowball rolling in a snowfield, and they become sticky,” Geiger said. “This unintended effect happens because of the presence of the nanoparticle. It can bring lipids to places in cells where lipids are not meant to be.”



The experiments were conducted in idealized laboratory settings that nevertheless are relevant to environments found during the late summer in a landfill -- at 21-22 degrees Celsius and a couple feet below ground, where soil and groundwater mix and the food chain begins.



By pairing spectroscopic and imaging experiments with atomistic and coarse-grain simulations, the researchers identified that ion pairing between the lipid head groups of biological membranes and the polycations’ ammonium groups in the nanoparticle wrapping leads to the formation of fragmented lipid coronas. These coronas engender new properties, including composition and stickiness, to the particles with diameters below 10 nanometers.



The study’s insights help predict the impact that the increasingly widespread use of engineered nanomaterials has on the nanoparticles’ fate once they enter the food chain, which many of them may eventually do.



“New technologies and mass consumer products are emerging that feature nanomaterials as critical operational components,” Geiger said. “We can upend the existing paradigm in nanomaterial production towards one in which companies design nanomaterials to be sustainable from the beginning, as opposed to risking expensive product recalls -- or worse -- down the road.”



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation Program through the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (grant no. CHE-1503408).



The paper is titled “Lipid Corona Formation from Nanoparticle Interactions with Bilayers.”

####

Contacts:
Megan Fellman at 847-491-3115 or

Amanda Morris at 847-467-6790 or

Source contact: Franz Geiger at

Copyright © Northwestern University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Appreciating the classical elegance of time crystals: Physicists at ETH Zurich have developed a versatile framework for studying periodically driven systems, providing a unifying platform to explore so-called 'time crystals' in both the classical and the quantum regime September 20th, 2019

'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time September 20th, 2019

SMART announces a revolutionary tech to study cell nanomechanics: New research discovery enables scientists to study membrane mechanics of cell's nucleus, revolutionising the understanding of metastatic cancers as well as opening the doors for identification of stem cells for the September 20th, 2019

Nano bulb lights novel path: Rice University engineers create tunable, nanoscale, incandescent light source September 20th, 2019

Possible Futures

Appreciating the classical elegance of time crystals: Physicists at ETH Zurich have developed a versatile framework for studying periodically driven systems, providing a unifying platform to explore so-called 'time crystals' in both the classical and the quantum regime September 20th, 2019

'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time September 20th, 2019

SMART announces a revolutionary tech to study cell nanomechanics: New research discovery enables scientists to study membrane mechanics of cell's nucleus, revolutionising the understanding of metastatic cancers as well as opening the doors for identification of stem cells for the September 20th, 2019

Nano bulb lights novel path: Rice University engineers create tunable, nanoscale, incandescent light source September 20th, 2019

Discoveries

Appreciating the classical elegance of time crystals: Physicists at ETH Zurich have developed a versatile framework for studying periodically driven systems, providing a unifying platform to explore so-called 'time crystals' in both the classical and the quantum regime September 20th, 2019

'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time September 20th, 2019

Nano bulb lights novel path: Rice University engineers create tunable, nanoscale, incandescent light source September 20th, 2019

Tiny bubbles in our body could fight cancer better than chemo September 18th, 2019

Announcements

Appreciating the classical elegance of time crystals: Physicists at ETH Zurich have developed a versatile framework for studying periodically driven systems, providing a unifying platform to explore so-called 'time crystals' in both the classical and the quantum regime September 20th, 2019

'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time September 20th, 2019

SMART announces a revolutionary tech to study cell nanomechanics: New research discovery enables scientists to study membrane mechanics of cell's nucleus, revolutionising the understanding of metastatic cancers as well as opening the doors for identification of stem cells for the September 20th, 2019

Nano bulb lights novel path: Rice University engineers create tunable, nanoscale, incandescent light source September 20th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Appreciating the classical elegance of time crystals: Physicists at ETH Zurich have developed a versatile framework for studying periodically driven systems, providing a unifying platform to explore so-called 'time crystals' in both the classical and the quantum regime September 20th, 2019

'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time September 20th, 2019

SMART announces a revolutionary tech to study cell nanomechanics: New research discovery enables scientists to study membrane mechanics of cell's nucleus, revolutionising the understanding of metastatic cancers as well as opening the doors for identification of stem cells for the September 20th, 2019

Nano bulb lights novel path: Rice University engineers create tunable, nanoscale, incandescent light source September 20th, 2019

Environment

Inspired by natural signals in living cells, researchers design artificial gas detector: Tiny box puts itself together and glows September 13th, 2019

This new nanotech could help clean up Earth’s microplastics August 3rd, 2019

Black (nano)gold combat climate change July 5th, 2019

Good vibrations: Using piezoelectricity to ensure hydrogen sensor sensitivity May 24th, 2019

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Plastic waste disintegrates into nanoparticles, study finds December 28th, 2018

Spectradyne Partners with Particle Technology Labs for Measurement Services December 6th, 2018

TUBALL single wall carbon nanotubes: No ecotoxicity found, unlike other carbon nanotubes October 12th, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project