Research provides evidence of potential of nanotechnology for health

Published: 18-Nov-2011

Categorises the types of nanoparticles that can be enlisted to treat endothelial cells

Dr Antonios Kanaras, a physics lecturer at the University of Southampton has revealed new evidence of the potential of nanotechnology for health. His research has shown that the morphology of nanomaterials is critical to their interactions with endothelial cells.

In a paper, published online today (18 November) in the journal Small, Kanaras categorises the types of nanoparticles that can be enlisted to treat endothelial cells, which are the building units of angiogenesis, the biological process that is involved in wound healing, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

‘We already know that a small dose of gold nanoparticles can activate or inhibit angiogenic genes in endothelial cells,’ said Dr Kanaras.

‘Our new findings show how nanoparticle morphology strongly affects their interaction with endothelial cells. This will be of critical importance to nanotechnological applications that target drug delivery and therapy.’

In the paper, entitled Interactions of Human Endothelial Cells with Gold Nanoparticles of Different Morphologies, Dr Kanaras and his colleagues investigated how the shape and size of gold nanoparticles influences their uptake by endothelial cells.

The authors found that although rod-shape nanoparticles are taken up in greater numbers than hollow gold spheres, they are equally efficient in promoting cell death when laser hyperthermia is employed. Being able to promote the same effect but with distinguishable lower dose of hollow particles is critical when considering these particles for biomedical applications.

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