Due to their physicochemical properties, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) have attracted considerable attention from researchers as drug delivery systems, due to efficient transportation of small biologically active molecules. However, when nanomaterials are in contact with biological uids, proteins tend to bind on their surface, forming a coating known as the protein corona. This corona can critically affect nanoparticles physicochemical properties and also their interaction with living systems. Therefore, chemical surface modification of nanoparticles is an essential tool to modulate their behavior both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, this research project proposes to investigate different silica nanoparticles surface functionalization to prevent the formation of protein corona and to verify a possible efficiency improvement of synthesized nanoparticles as drug delivery systems. The silica nanoparticles without corona-free functionalization were previously synthesized as drug carriers for doxorubicin and curcumin. The synthesis and characterization of these particles were done at LNLS (Campinas, Brazil). Biological in vitro tests have been carried out at LNBio (Campinas, Brazil). The obtained results were described and discussed in FAPESP 2013/22429-9 partial report. In this internship, the student Jessica Fernanda Affonso de Oliveira will be working under the guidance of Professor Vincent M. Rotello (University of Massachusetts Amherst -UMass, USA) whose research focuses on supramolecular chemistry area through the study and application of non-covalent interactions between nanoparticles and living systems. Professor Rotello have a great expertise on tailored corona-free nanoparticles and had recently published (2014) a paper on ACSNano entitled as "Fabrication of Corona-Free Nanoparticles with Tunable Hydrophobicity". Thus, the student will be in touch with advanced organic synthesis protocols for nanoparticles surface modifications used for preventing protein corona coating on nanoparticles surface, which is responsible for their clearance in in vivo systems.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: