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Molecular aspects of the nano-cell interactions: therapeutic activity, delivery of oligonucleotides and nanotoxicity

Grant number: 23/06143-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2023 - November 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Enzymology
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Bispo de Jesus
Grantee:Marcelo Bispo de Jesus
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Nanomaterials have enormous potential to solve problems in various fields, such as agriculture, livestock, and medicine. The biological role of nanomaterials is closely related to their physicochemical properties, and because these nanomaterials interact with the environment in which they are inserted, the corona effect appears as a protagonist. An important application of nanomaterials is the delivery of drugs and genes that can be used to achieve various biological goals, such as treating tumors, controlling pests, and genetically improving the cellular microenvironment. However, developing or evaluating nanomaterials without considering their toxic effects is impossible. Therefore, the unintentional exposure to pollutants in the nanometer range, such as silver nanoparticles and micro- and nanoplastics, should be emphasized here. Thus, the assessment of the toxic effects of nanomaterials is essential for nanomaterials that are designed for use in their nanometric form or that have the potential to produce these species. Therefore, this grant is divided into three different subprojects: NanoCell@Therapeutics: which aims to investigate aspects of nanoparticle-cell interaction and understand the mechanisms of using nanomaterials to treat tumors; NanoCell@GeneDelivery: aims to develop gene carriers to control biological pests and improve the development of bovine embryos; NanoCell@Nanotox: aims to assess the molecular mechanisms of toxicity induced by different materials such as micro- and nanoplastics and silver nanoparticles. Finally, by understanding the molecular aspects of the interaction between nanomaterials and cells, we aim to contribute to the conscious use of nanomaterials for therapeutic purposes and the delivery of oligonucleotides, always paying attention to their toxic effects, trying to strike a balance between biological efficiency and toxicity. (AU)

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