Nanoengineered Templated Polymer Particles: Navigating the Biological Realm
AuthorCui, J; Richardson, JJ; Bjornmalm, M; Faria, M; Caruso, F
Source TitleACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH
PublisherAMER CHEMICAL SOC
University of Melbourne Author/sCaruso, Francesco; Cui, Jiwei; Richardson, Joseph; Bjornmalm, Axel Mattias Hekansson; Faria, Matthew William; Faria, Matthew
AffiliationChemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCui, J; Richardson, JJ; Bjornmalm, M; Faria, M; Caruso, F, Nanoengineered Templated Polymer Particles: Navigating the Biological Realm, ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH, 2016, 49 (6), pp. 1139 - 1148
Access StatusOpen Access
Nanoengineered materials offer tremendous promise for developing the next generation of therapeutics. We are transitioning from simple research questions, such as "can this particle eradicate cancer cells?" to more sophisticated ones like "can we design a particle to preferentially deliver cargo to a specific cancer cell type?" These developments are poised to usher in a new era of nanoengineered drug delivery systems. We primarily work with templating methods for engineering polymer particles and investigate their biological interactions. Templates are scaffolds that facilitate the formation of particles with well-controlled size, shape, structure, stiffness, stability, and surface chemistry. In the past decade, breakthroughs in engineering new templates, combined with advances in coating techniques, including layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly, surface polymerization, and metal-phenolic network (MPN) coordination chemistry, have enabled particles with specific physicochemical properties to be engineered. While materials science offers an ever-growing number of new synthesis techniques, a central challenge of therapeutic delivery has become understanding how nanoengineered materials interact with biological systems. Increased collaboration between chemists, biologists, and clinicians has resulted in a vast research output on bio-nano interactions. Our understanding of cell-particle interactions has grown considerably, but conventional in vitro experimentation provides limited information, and understanding how to bridge the in vitro/in vivo gap is a continuing challenge. As has been demonstrated in other fields, there is now a growing interest in applying computational approaches to advance this area. A considerable knowledge base is now emerging, and with it comes new and exciting opportunities that are already being capitalized on through the translation of materials into the clinic. In this Account, we outline our perspectives gained from a decade of work at the interface between polymer particle engineering and bio-nano interactions. We divide our research into three areas: (i) biotrafficking, including cellular association, intracellular transport, and biodistribution; (ii) biodegradation and how to achieve controlled, responsive release of therapeutics; and (iii) applications, including drug delivery, controlling immunostimulatory responses, biosensing, and microreactors. There are common challenges in these areas for groups developing nanoengineered therapeutics. A key "lesson-learned" has been the considerable challenge of staying informed about the developments relevant to this field. There are a number of reasons for this, most notably the interdisciplinary nature of the work, the large numbers of researchers and research outputs, and the limited standardization in technique nomenclature. Additionally, a large body of work is being generated with limited central archiving, other than vast general databases. To help address these points, we have created a web-based tool to organize our past, present, and future work [Bio-nano research knowledgebase, http://bionano.eng.unimelb.edu.au/knowledge_base/ (accessed May 2, 2016)]. This tool is intended to serve as a first step toward organizing results in this large, complex area. We hope that this will inspire researchers, both in generating new ideas and also in collecting, collating, and sharing their experiences to guide future research.
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