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Pursuing nanomaterials inside of living cells

Grant number: 19/22872-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2021
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Carlos José Leopoldo Constantino
Grantee:Cibely da Silva Martin Sonvesso
Supervisor: Christelle Prinz
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Research place: Lund University, Lund, Sweden  
Associated to the scholarship:17/15019-0 - Combination of confocal fluorescence microscopy and surface-enhanced Raman scattering techniques: interaction, detection, and quantification of molecules of interest in biomimetic system., BP.PD


Nanomaterials of all sorts have been widely explored in scientific studies, and new properties and applications are constantly being discovered. In biotechnology, including biomedical applications, the nanomaterials stand out to integrate a new generation of cell probes or carriers for drug delivery, especially because of their small size and tunable surface properties. By changing the surface properties via organic coatings, core-shell structures or direct chemical surface functionalization, one aims to increase the stability of the nanomaterials in biological media and to regulate their toxicity. Here, we propose the application of lipid coatings to different nanomaterials in order to pursue the insertion of these functionalized particles in living cells (A549 or Jurkat T line cells). Different nanomaterials such as nanodiamonds, nanowires, and metallic nanoparticles will be tested upon their functionalization, followed by attempts to be introduced in living cells. Different methods for the cell uptake of nanomaterials will be attempted, including incubation and direct injection. The characterization of functionalized nanomaterials will be performed using electron microscopy techniques, while the efficiency in lipid-coated nanomaterial uptake will be carried out using flow cytometry studies. In addition, optical microscopy images using stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy and confocal fluorescence microscopy will provide relevant information about the nanoparticle journey inside the cell. This project will be carried out at Lund University under supervision of professor Christelle Prinz (Division of Solid State Physics - Physics Department); the functionalization and processing of nanodiamonds and nanowires, as well cell culture and microscopy methods to track nanomaterials inside of living cells are complementary to the investigations that are ongoing in Brazil (UNESP). Thus, the scope of this project is to expand the knowledge of the candidate to new methods and techniques in the area of bio-application of nanomaterials. Besides, a SPRINT proposal joining Lund University and UNESP is ready to be submitted by October 30, 2019 (deadline for the running call). Both SPRINT and BEPE projects are elements of the strategy to establish a strong collaboration between our research group and the group of professor Prinz. (AU)

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