Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine: looking at nanomaterials in action one molecule at a time
Lorenzo Albertazzi, IBEC
The use of nanomaterials for biomedical purposes such as drug or gene delivery is one of the key applications of nanotechnology. In this framework a variety of materials have been fabricated, evaluated in cells and in vivo and, in some cases, successfully translated into clinical applications. A crucial factor limiting the design of effective nanocarriers is the lack of knowledge about materials-cell interactions that severely limit the rational design of nanosized devices.
Here I’ll show how advanced optical microscopy techniques can shine a light on nanomaterials behavior in the biological environment, helping us to understand structure-activity relationships and to design improved and more effective therapeutic devices. In particular I’ll discuss the ability of super resolution microscopy to image with nanometric resolution nanomaterials interactions with target cells. The potential and the applications of the technique will be discussed, with particular emphasis on the study of self-assembled bio-inspired materials.