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Study of endocytosis and exocytosis of nanomaterials and exosomes. nanomedicine applications

Grant number: 16/00971-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics
Principal Investigator:Valtencir Zucolotto
Grantee:Paula Maria Pincela Lins
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Despite the rapid progress of nanotechnology for application in different fields of science, there are great toxicological concerns such as the interaction between biological systems and nanomaterials. These toxicological issue should be considered along with the benefits that science brings to society. In order to promote the safe development of nanotechnology, specifically, the nanomedicine, it is essential to evaluate the adverse consequences of nanomaterials to health, which requires an investigation at the molecular level. It is known that the incorporation of nanomaterials occurs primarily by endocytosis. In addition, the toxicological effect is not only associated with endocytosis, since exocytosis can pose the nanomaterial to the extracellular component more toxic than the starting material. Recently, efforts have been made for the use of biocompatible nanomaterials eg., the functionalization of NMs with biomolecules. However, the synthesis of these nanomaterials is very complex; therefore the nanocarriers have been an alternative to the problem. Thus, the study of nanocarriers and consequently of vesicular systems has increased, the exosomes have become prominent, since they are nanoparticles naturally produced by the cells. Consequently, these vesicles have been studied for the encapsulation of active molecules. For this reason, cell uptake studies are important to show that the system is specific and it could be used as a potential delivery. This project aims to evaluate the endocytosis and exocytosis mechanisms of nanomaterials and exosomes, through transmission and confocal microscopy. The major challenge of this master's project is to analyze the processes at the molecular level with four different types of cell lines. Such studies may help understanding the toxicity of nanomaterials at the molecular scale and bring important benefits to the development of nanomedicine.