Uptake, transport, and cellular trafficking of engineered nanomaterials in eukaryotic cells are complex processes that are still not well understood. We analyze the multifaceted structures of living beings down to the cellular level, and in doing so, tackle analytical challenges to visualize and quantify nanomaterials and their effects in biological environments ranging from human lung cells, to agricultural plants, and wood for construction materials.
Our interests center on several interdisciplinary subtopics. We determine the fate of nanomaterials in cells, providing knowledge on uptake, intracellular trafficking, and exocytosis that can affect cytotoxicity, cell behavior, and the therapeutic efficacy of nanomaterials. In cells, nanomaterials can undergo changes affecting the particle stability, and their surface properties can be used to trigger intracellular processes such as apoptosis. In a subgroup centered on particle-protein interactions, we modify the surface chemistry of nanomaterials and characterize the evolution of the protein corona on particles that affects their uptake into cells and intracellular behavior. Enzyme-containing nanoparticles as reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers are explored in our biomedical nanoparticles subgroup as promising candidates for the treatment of pulmonary inflammation.
We are also interested in plant-nano interactions and one subgroup nanoparticles for wood preservation investigates key parameters to improve the nanoparticle impregnation behavior in wood. Last but not least, we explore bioinspired agrochemicals: we use the agricultural legume crop Medicago sativa (alfalfa) to characterize the efficiency and biological effects of novel nano-fertilizers.
Nanoparticles for Wood Preservation
Particle Stability and Stimuli-Responsiveness
Trafficking of Nanomaterials
Understanding the Velvet Worm Slime Curing Mechanism