This summer just gone the European Nano-Characterisation Laboratory (EU-NCL) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme was launched. The lab hopes to alleviate the bottleneck in research when it comes to nanomaterial characterisation by providing a wide range of NM characterisation options. Knowing more about NM helps researchers to better understand/predict the in vivo effects of their nanomaterials. Hopefully this lab will be fully operational by 2017-2020 (phase three f the programme). For more information on the participating research institutes see here.
For those with a subscription to nature this Q&A session with Ali Yetisen about research using nanotechnology and biosensors to make environmentally responsive materials for clothes, tattoos, accessories and contact lenses is an interesting read. It is pay walled but it can be found here.
“The binding of serum proteins can profoundly change the behaviour of nanoparticles, at times leading to rapid clearance by the body and a diminished clinical outcome,” - Asst Prof Kah. The protein corona is a topic that is of growing interest in the nano field, and this study published in Small (Observing nano-bio interactions in real time) details a new technique to investigate the corona formation. The nanoparticles where immobilised to the surface of a sensor chip. The chip was specially modified to prevented non-specific binding. They then used surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technology to measure the protein corona. New techniques ans studies like this gives us a better understanding of how proteins in the bloodstream bind to nanoparticles. Ultimately this could lead to better nanomedicines.