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The role of in vivo protein corona formation on immune responses

Grant number: 22/04327-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): October 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Mateus Borba Cardoso
Grantee:Lindomar Jose Calumby Albuquerque
Supervisor abroad: Andrew Michael Smith
Home Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:19/24894-7 - Nano-biological consequences of multi-charged surface silica nanoparticles on the formation of the protein corona, colloidal stability, biocompatibility, and cellular uptake, BP.PD


The immune system is sensitive to molecular and cellular structures with a spatial resolution of a few nm, which allows our immune system to detect and remove nanoparticles (NPs) and viruses from circulation. Nanomaterials have been built to avoid interaction with immune cells through, for example, hydrophilic coating agents. However, once nanomaterials are introduced into the body, they are coated by proteins and other biomolecules forming the "protein corona". Protein corona can completely change NPs biological identity and directly impact their surfaces properties and the immune responses from our body. It is well known that nanomaterials can induce structural changes in proteins adsorbed on their surface. The subproject (BEPE) to be conducted at the University of Illinois (United States) aims the synthesis of quantum dots (QDs) doped silica NPs for further investigation of protein corona formation in vivo. The incorporation of QDs will allow us to follow the silica NPs in deep tissues due to the unique properties of QDs (photostability, high quantum yield, tunable emission). The biological results from in vitro and in vivo experiments will allow us to trace scenarios correlating the physicochemical properties of NPs, the protein-corona surrounding NPs and the consequent variety of possible immune responses. Understanding how the introduction of the NPs-protein corona can tune immune responses to the body is crucial for developing nanomaterials that could achieve clinical trials. (AU)

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