The Nanobiotechnology and Nanotoxicology Group (NBT) is a multidisciplinary research group dedicated to understanding and controlling the interaction of nanomaterials with biological and environmental systems.
Nanobiotechnology – Synthesis, Functionalization and Biological applications of Nanomaterials
The current enthusiasm for nanomaterials has triggered a search for connections between these objects, biology and technology. Within this context, NBT group is fully focused on understanding the interaction between the nano and the bio worlds with special attention towards possible medical, pharmaceutical, and agri-environmental applications.
Then, our group relies on the design and controlled synthesis approaches that allow to understand the nanoparticles influence over biological processes. In addition, another strategy used in our group is the specific nanoparticles targeting though the surface functionalization of nano-objects. All these processes are done in mild aqueous solutions while colloidal stability is intentionally maintained.
The main workflow usually used is detailed below:
- Design and controlled synthesis of nanoparticles;
- Nanoparticles surface functionalization;
- Careful and detailed characterization of nanoparticles and colloidal properties;
- Nanoparticle biomolecular coronas identification and nanobiointeractions;
- Biomedical applications that include tests with tumor and healthy cells, susceptible and resistant bacteria as well as viruses;
- Agri-environmental applications that include tests with microorganisms, nematodes, soils and plants.
Nanotoxicology – Responsible Development of Nanotechnology
The LNNano/CNPEM policy supports the responsible development and commercialization of nanoscale materials by increasing the understanding of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) aspects of nanotechnology as well as its ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI).
Toxicological studies of nanomaterials represent currently a core investigation attempting a sustainable production and technological innovation. The diversity of nanomaterial characteristics such as the increase in surface area, particle morphology, and chemical reactivity is far more complex than in the bulk state. These properties raise new questions concerned the interaction of nanomaterials with biological and environmental systems.
Accordingly, the NBT group is acting with intent to perform basic and applied research in the emerging field of nanotoxicology, including:
- Integrated physico-chemical characterization of nanomaterials for toxicological studies;
- Interaction of nanomaterials with biological matrices and biofluids: impacts on the toxicity;
- Environmental transformations of nanomaterials;
- Nanotoxicity assessment towards exposure and risk evaluation of nanomaterials and residues;
- Standardization and alternative methods to animal testing in nanotoxicology