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BOF PhD: Label free imaging of nanoparticles for a study of their impact on biological processes in dendritic cells. (R-3980)

Over the past years nanotechnology caused a technological revolution with a multitude of applications, also in the biomedical world due to specific properties of nanomaterials and nanoparticles (NPs). E.g. the transport of NPs in the human body is driven by active processes which turns them into interesting targeting drug delivery tools. Another property is their very high surface-volume ratio and their explicit surface reactivity: when put into a biological matrix NPs receive a protein corona which influences the responses of biological systems which are exposed to them. The proposed PhD project has two aims. Firstly to implement label free imaging methods by the use of NPs, secondly to study the impact of NPs on biological functions of dendritic cells. Part 1 consists of the exploration of NP types which will be used in the research. It was decided to use biocompatible and label-free NPs which can be detected in biological tissue by fluorescence-based techniques. An advantage of this type of NPs is the absence of fluorescence bleaching during observation which opens the possibility to track their behavior over longer time periods. Both nanodiamonds and non-organic particles are suited for this purpose. Part 2 of the PhD project will study the functional impact of NPs on stem cell-derived dendritic cells (DC). These DC are a useful in vitro model for the study of allergy because of the capacity of DC to process allergens and present them to the immune system. The ability of the DC to fulfill this task depends on the normal functioning of microtubules. As a first task the interaction of NPs with the microtubules will be assessed by the mentioned imaging method. Further, the influence on the immunological functioning of the DC as a result of a co-exposure to an allergen and NPs will be quantified by adding molecular measuring methods to the imaging. Additionally, this research gives the possibility to monitor the effect of NPs on the differentiation process of DC from stem cells which occurs during the in vitro culture.
Date:1 Oct 2012 →  30 Sep 2016
Keywords:fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM)