Nanoparticles for biomedical applications
The nano-bio-technology research is focused on synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles for early cancer detection and targeted drug delivery applications. The main goals of this research area are: gold nanoparticles synthesis and surface modification, size measurements of gold nanoparticles and study the inter-particle interactions of conjugated gold nanoparticles in bio compatible environments such as water.
Targeting of site-specific payloads depends critically on the dimension of the delivery system. Targeting methods rely on the mechanisms based on the size and physical properties of the nanoparticles. The efficient drug delivery using nanoparticles depend on a variety of factors like the interaction of the conjugates nanoparticles with other particles and with the surfaces in biological environments. While there are other techniques for size measurements like electron microscopy and light scattering techniques, atomic force microscopy (AFM) is used as a complementary method for size measurements with added advantages. However AFM stands as a unique tool for measuring inter-particle interactions (force measurements) and their interaction with other surfaces. We work on the following directions.
1. Characterization of nanoparticles for their dimensions, using atomic force microscope. This includes developing techniques to disperse them on the surfaces for imaging to get the size and size distribution. The work will be extended to conjugated nanoparticles to explore the influence of various vectors on their sizes and size distribution.
2. The inter-particle forces can be measured using AFM by modifying the probes with identical properties of the conjugated nanoparticles. The work includes selection of right probes for modification and calibration of the force constants of the cantilevers. The experiments will be performed in liquids, to mimic real biological environments.
3. Nanoparticles are often found to agglomerate, due to the strong adhesive forces. One can pull chains out of the agglomerates using AFM probe and thereby study the mechanical properties of these chains.
The experience in the chemistry of synthesis is blended successfully with the excellent expertise in metrology as well as the state-of-the-art instrumentation. Characterization of nanoparticles demands a high level of accuracy to meet medical applications, which can be achieved using the best known calibration methods and the measurement standards.
Prof. Jaros│aw Grobelny, DSc, PhD
Prof. Grzegorz Celichowski, DSc, PhD
Micha│ Cichomski, DSc, PhD
Emilia Tomaszewska, PhD
Katarzyna Soliwoda, PhD
Gold nanoparticles, synthesized in the described project (Atomic force microscopy images)